Buffalo, racism, and the Church

Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Easter: As the readings look forward to Pentecost, the latest racially motivated mass shooting highlights the challenges faced by the Church as the “sacrament of the unity of the human race.”

A man at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., lights a candle May 16, 2022, for the victims of a May 14 mass shooting that authorities said was motivated by racism. (CNS photo/Brendan McDermid, Reuters)

In this Sixth Sunday of Easter, the readings begin to look forward two weeks to the culmination of the Easter season, the great Solemnity of Pentecost: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ Apostles and disciples; the birthday of the Church.

Our Lord is speaking of Pentecost in today’s Gospel when he tells his disciples that “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26).

And it’s that gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that gives the apostles the authority, in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, to resolve the dispute at Antioch, even writing in their letter: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us…” (Acts 15:28).

The conflict at Antioch is between Jews and Gentiles, involving an faction of Jewish Christians called the Judaizers, who taught that Gentile disciples had to accept circumcision and live by the law of Moses, the Torah. The apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, reject this division between Jew and Gentile, circumcised and uncircumcised. Sin divides and creates conflict; grace unites and brings peace. What does Jesus say in the Gospel reading? “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). What do the Apostles write to the church at Antioch?

We have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind… (Acts 15:24).

Reconciling human beings to God and to one another

The story of sin is a story of division, of conflict, of estrangement, from the moment our first parents, Adam and Eve, turned away from God in the garden of Eden to the most recent selfish or resentful or egocentric thought or act in any of our hearts; from the moment that Cain raised his hand to murder his brother Abel to the moment that Russia invaded Ukraine—or a gunman in Buffalo entered a supermarket intent on killing as many Black people as he could.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” St. Paul writes to the Ephesians that Jesus

is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility…that he might…reconcile us both to God…thereby bringing the hostility to an end (Ephesians 2:14–16).

You see how reconciling human beings to God goes hand in hand with reconciling them to one another? This is what Jesus died and rose again to accomplish: to reconcile us with God and with one another. And, beginning with Pentecost, this is also the mission of the Church in the Holy Spirit. Hear the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The Church’s first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men’s communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. (CCC 775)

“The sacrament of the inner union of men with God” and “the sacrament of the unity of the human race.” The two are inseparable, because Jesus came to reconcile human beings to God and to one another, bringing all hostility to an end and giving us his peace.

Medieval antisemitism and modern racism

And yet even after Pentecost, even in the Church, there’s still so much hostility, so many disturbers of the peace. It’s been that way from the beginning: conflict between Jewish and Gentile Christians; between converts of Peter and converts of Paul, and even Peter and Paul themselves.

Remember how, three weeks ago, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles how the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem were harassing the early Christians? Centuries later, when Christian leaders had authority and power, we were the ones harassing and persecuting the Jews. Jews in medieval Europe were segregated into ghettoes and often had to wear special clothing or badges. False stories spread about Jews poisoning wells or kidnapping Christian children and ritually drinking their blood.

In modern times, conspiracy theorists have blamed the Jews for everything from the rise of Communism to conspiring to replace White European populations with people of color—the so-called “Great Replacement theory” or “White genocide” we’ve heard so much about this week in connection with the Buffalo shooter’s manifesto, explaining why he drove three hours in search of Black people to kill.

Five years ago this same poisonous idea echoed in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, at the so-called “Unite the Right” rally, with marchers chanting “You will not replace us!” or, in some cases, “Jews will not replace us!” (meaning replace White people with people of color).

That kind of card-carrying racism is easy to condemn when we see it marching in the streets with tiki torches, let alone committing mass murder in a supermarket—or a Walmart in El Paso; or a synagogue in Poway, California; or a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s easy to think, too, that because these are all isolated, extremist crimes, there are no larger social implications that we all need to be concerned about in our daily lives. After all, society has made such progress.

But Pope St. John Paul II, visiting the US in 1999, declared:

As the new millennium approaches, there remains another great challenge facing…the whole country: to put an end to every form of racism, a plague which your Bishops have called one of the most persistent and destructive evils of the nation.

Pope Benedict XVI, in 2008, warned about “disturbing new forms of racism…being manifested in various countries.” And, just last year, Pope Francis called racism

a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting…[showing] that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think [cf. Fratelli Tutti 20].

Who needs to change?

This is not something any of us want to hear. The thing is, when people really don’t want to hear something, they’re not going to hear it—whether it’s coming from the last three popes or from Black Catholics and other people of color or anyone else.

Some of you may know a former member of our parish: Damon Owens, a well-known marriage and theology-of-the-body speaker. Maybe you’ve seen him on EWTN. I interviewed him a couple of years ago about racism, particularly in the Church. I also interviewed three members of my diaconal class who are Black Catholic men (among many other conversations). And what they tell me is that, when they or others try to talk about racism, people who don’t want to hear it—particularly White people—will find ways to deflect. “What about Black-on-Black violence?” “What about absent fathers in the Black community?” You know what our Black brothers and sisters hear at times like that? They hear us saying, “We don’t need to change. You need to change.”

You want to know one of the most painful aspects of this discussion? Despite what the popes have said about racism, and other bishops and clergy and Catholic leaders, polls and studies find that the influence of racism in our churches is more prevalent than outside them. Our White neighbors who don’t even go to church have more openness and awareness regarding the reality of racism than church-going Catholics who look like me.

How does that make our brothers and sisters who are Black or Hispanic or Asian feel, not to mention our Jewish or Muslim neighbors? How can the Church function as “the sacrament of the unity of the human race” when the concerns and struggles of minorities are ignored or even denied by many in the majority? And if we don’t persuasively show forth the unity of the human race, who will accept our Church as the sacrament of the inner union of men with God?

Open Wide Our Hearts

Three years ago, the US bishops—not unlike the apostles in the first reading—approved a letter, a very good pastoral letter, called Open Wide Our Hearts, addressing this difficult issue of our time. It goes into the experiences of Hispanics and Native Americans as well as African Americans, and touches on antisemitism and anti-Muslim sentiment. This was before Covid and the spike in anti-Asian violence, and unfortunately there’s almost no mention of Asians. One important point the letter makes is the need for

a genuine conversion of heart…that will compel change, and the reform of our institutions and society…

In this regard, each of us should adopt the words of Pope Francis as our own: let no one “think that this invitation is not meant for him or her.” All of us are in need of personal, ongoing conversion.

“What do I need ongoing conversion for? I’m not racist. I’m a good person. I hate racism.” You know, we can be good people and still have blind spots: areas where we need to grow and learn from one another. You know where conversion starts? With resisting the defensiveness of that question, “Why do I need to change?” There is no greater obstacle to God’s grace in our lives than the conviction that we’re already good enough.

Open Wide Our Hearts can help us begin to understand how influences in our culture or our upbringing “can lead to thoughts and actions that we do not even see as racist,” but are still rooted in prejudice. It also explains how racism can be “institutional” or systemic, a form of what the Catechism calls “social sin” (CCC 1869).

Ongoing conversion includes willingness to learn about these realities in order to recognize and oppose them—not to be silent. By God’s grace, we can put aside our defensiveness and deflections and hear each other in a new way. Open Wide Our Hearts says: “As Christians, we are called to listen and know the stories of our brothers and sisters.” It’s amazing what a profound step toward healing the simple act of listening can be.

And, as our awareness of the problem grows, we need to own the problem. It’s not someone else’s problem. It’s my problem—and yours. My neighbor who still resists acknowledging the scope of the problem: That’s my problem.

Lord, open wide our hearts and our minds. Send your Holy Spirit to break down all dividing walls, to bring hostility to an end, and to give us your peace. Amen.

• Related at CWR: “A Catholic response to racism” (June 29, 2020) by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Steven D. Greydanus 50 Articles
Steven D. Greydanus is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, a permanent deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and the founder of DecentFilms.com. He has degrees in media arts and religious studies. He and his wife Suzanne have seven children.


  1. This essay is an extended exercise in fake news. The “woke” author just assumes that any criticism of Black persons as a community, and any rejection of the “systemic racism” narrative or the self-serving narratives of Black individuals (who are notorious for confusing ordinary life inconveniences with “racism”) is ipso facto racist. In fact, it’s *not* true that “polls and studies find that the influence of racism in our churches is more prevalent than outside them.” That’s a damned lie, and the very articles hyperlinked by this woke “deacon” don’t support this assertion. Their headlines are admittedly clickbaitey, but when one bothers to read the actual data collected, real racism is not being measured at all. Instead, mere disagreement with leftist-liberal narratives *about* racism are characterized as racist or evincing racial antagonism. This is intellectually dishonest, and is not the sort of thing that ought to be peddled by an ostensible minister of the Church.

    • Don,
      Please don’t confuse one’s ministerial role in the Church with getting it correct politically. The two should never be conflated as their domains of interest and expertise are oriented to different purposes. As far as your political comments are concerned, I agree with what you say 100%.

    • Do you believe that inequalities between Black and White people are really just a matter of Black people not trying hard enough, and that if Black people would just try harder, they could be as well off as White people?

      Over half of White Catholics (52%) agreed with this insulting and offensive statement, but among White people who identify as atheist/agnostic/nothing in particular, 68% disagreed.

      Now, if someone agrees with the majority of White Catholics that the issue facing Black people is that they aren’t trying hard enough, they may not see this as evidence that racism is more influential in the Church than outside it. Most people, though, will recognize this as evidence that these people are telling on themselves.

      The same pattern plays out over and over with other questions about race. Is so-called “reverse discrimination” — discrimination against White people — just as big a problem as discrimination against Black people? A solid majority of Americans (61%), including a large majority of Whites with no religious affiliation (nearly 70%), rejected this statement, but a slim majority of White Catholics (51%) agreed.

      Are killings of Black men by police officers merely isolated events, or is there a larger pattern of how police treat Black Americans? A majority of Americans (56%), including a large majority of Whites with no religious affiliation (nearly 70%), recognize that there’s a larger pattern, but a majority of White Catholics (56%) think they’re just isolated events.

      Have generations of slavery and discrimination created conditions that make it difficult for Black Americans to work their way out of the lower class? Americans in general are evenly divided on this question, but a large majority of White Catholics (62%) agreed with this statement, compared to only 38% of unaffiliated Whites.

      Ryan Burge, a Baptist pastor and an assistant professor of political science who specializes in the sociology of religion, has created a “racial resentment” analysis tool based on answers to questions like these. By his analysis, his own group — White Evangelicals — rank highest in racial resentment, followed by Orthodox Christians, with White Catholics in third place. People who are “nothing in particular” rank well below us (he doesn’t break it out by race, but the difference is too big to be explained entirely by race).

      • “Do you believe that inequalities between Black and White people are really just a matter of Black people not trying hard enough, and that if Black people would just try harder, they could be as well off as White people?”

        Yes, I do, and even if my belief is incorrect, it is not racist. Disagreement with left-liberal ideology is not racist.

        • Don, I can’t say whether you or your beliefs “are” racist. That question doesn’t interest me. But your beliefs at least reflect the influence of racism, specifically the rightwing propaganda machine that exists to blow smoke around the realities of racism so that White people can have plausible deniability and continue to blame Black people for the suffering inflicted upon them.

          • “your beliefs at least reflect the influence of racism”

            This is a vicious slander, and you had better repent of this if you hope to be saved.

            Mere disagreement with your political ideology (and its sacred cows du jour) is not racism. It is not racist to believe that the United States is not a racist society, and it is not racist to believe that the problems facing the black community are almost entirely of black people’s own making. Even if these beliefs are wrong, they do not reflect racism or “the influence of racism.” They are principled and utterly defensible interpretations of reality.

          • Steven, I can’t say whether you or your beliefs “are” pro-pedophilia. That question doesn’t interest me. But your beliefs at least reflect the influence of pedophilia, specifically the left-wing propaganda machine that exists to blow smoke around the realities of pedophilia so that liberals can have plausible deniability and continue to blame children for the suffering inflicted upon them.

            Nice job parroting Mark Shea, by the way.

          • This is a vicious slander

            Nah, there’s nothing “vicious” about it. It’s common. As Open Wide Our Hearts says:

            Racism can often be found in our hearts—in many cases placed there unwillingly or
            unknowingly by our upbringing and culture. As such, it can lead to thoughts and actions that we
            do not even see as racist, but nonetheless flow from the same prejudicial root.

            And, again:

            In this regard, each of us should adopt the words of Pope Francis as our own: let no one “think that this invitation is not meant for him or her.” All of us are in need of personal, ongoing conversion. Our churches and our civic and social institutions are in need of ongoing reform. If racism is confronted by addressing its causes and the injustice it produces, then healing can occur. In that transformed reality, the headlines we see all too often today will become lessons from the past.

            The idea that merely diagnosing the influence of racism is “vicious slander” is simply another way that what Pope Francis called the “virus” of racism protects itself from being diagnosed and treated.

          • Merely asserting that a person’s beliefs “reflect the influence of racism” does not make it so, particularly when the beliefs in question are manifestly not racist ones. Mere disagreement with “Deacon” Greydanus, or with popular narratives about racism, is not “racism” or “reflection of racism.” Such characterizations are exercises in ad hominem and character assassination. Making baseless accusations such as these is mortally sinful. It needs to be repented of.

        • So what is racist? It’s a sincere question. What’s your definition? Earlier, you took issue with a study for defining as “racist” attitudes (that you share) that do not meet your definition of (in your words) “real racism.” So what is racism, then?

          • I’m not sure what earlier discussion you’re referring to, Bob, but I’m happy to answer what I accept on your word is a sincere question.

            As Open Wide Our Hearts says (and the cited remarks from the last two popes indicate), racism is not one thing; it has “many forms.” All forms of racism are at least historically or causally rooted in the perennial phenomenon of intergroup bias, in “us” vs. “them” dynamics, both on the individual level and the social or cultural level. Racism is also connected with, but not the same as, colorism, a perennial form of bias based on skin color, often privileging lighter skin tones.

            Racism as we know it in Western culture today (racism in other cultural contexts, especially Asian racism, have different histories that I would have to study more to speak about with any confidence) is generally considered by sociologists and historians to be a modern phenomenon historically connected with European expansionism and global trade, notably what became racialized hereditary chattel slavery. It is also connected with Darwinism and quasi-scientific attempts to classify humanity into pseudoscientific taxonomies of discrete strains of humanity, essentially definable by immutable, biologically determined characteristics, possibly with distinct ancestral origins (a theory called polygenism that was incompatible with Catholic anthropology regarding the unity of the human race).

            Pseudoscientific theories of racial taxonomy all but inevitably involved theories of racial hierarchy — so-called scientific or pseudoscientific racism — and in particular of white supremacy: the doctrine that the white inhabitants of Europe were both biologically and culturally superior to the darker-skinned peoples of other lands.

            In the US, where racialized hereditary chattel slavery was practiced on an industrial scale, White supremacy was enshrined in law as well as culture and maintained by racial violence. This is the background for all forms of what I consider racism in a Western context. (Given this history, racism as I define it in a Western context is inseparably linked to White supremacy. Thus, while anyone can be racist or be influenced by racism — for example, Blacks and Hispanics can act in racist ways relative to the other, or even to members in their own group — racial animus against White people is to my mind better described by words like bigotry or prejudice than racism. That’s a historical/semantic point, though, not something for which I would go to the mat.)

            After abolition, White supremacy in law as well as culture continued for nearly a century. While the last legal structures of White supremacy fell in the late 1960s, a profound legacy of cultural, institutional, and structural inequalities and outcomes remained, and remains. For example, I explained in another comment how decades of racist policies by government agencies and private banks and lending firms built up a great desposit of generational wealth in White communities while systematically excluding Black communities from benefitting, engineering disproportionately Black zones of concentrated urban poverty, a reality that can be called structural racism.

            So, what is racism in a Western context today? I would say that while several different things can be called racism — overt or conscious racism; unconscious racism; shared or cultural racism; etc. — synthetically speaking, racism refers first of all to any belief, attitude, or way of thinking, whether individual or cultural, conscious or unconscious, that results from the history of White supremacy and tends to perpetuate or reinforce the social advantages of Whites and the disadvantages of people of color. The word is also used in an extended sense to refer to concrete socioeconomic realities — historically segregated neighborhoods, highways running through Black communities, the unequal distribution of generational wealth, etc. — that can be called structural racism.

            That’s a start. I hope it’s helpful.

          • Very good question, Bob
            Traditionally, the term “Racism” has been associated with the notion of superiority or inferiority. Racism as such, has been thought of as akin to a belief system, not unlike Materialism. I am wondering how in the world some people are using the term today.
            Deacon Steven,
            One uses terms like “quasi,” or “so-called,” when one is desperate. Stop doing that. It undermines your arguments.
            Polygenism was essentially condemned by Pope Pius XII, and for good reason. The image of God, and the sin of Man, are bound to monogenism. Nonetheless, if one admits the viability of evolution and/or modern anthropology, things get a little bit complicated.
            According to evolutionary biology and anthropology, the species homo sapiens migrated out of Africa many millennia ago. In different places however, they interbred with different of the homo GENUS. Thus, the genetics of a Micronesian differ from that of an African; which differs in turn from an Asian, such as Confucius; or that of Cicero, Dante, or Mozart, who were obviously Europeans.
            Notably, the Christian understanding of Man qua Man is not tied to genetics (and modern discoveries); it is tied to the essence of Man as the rational animal. Stick with that.

        • Racism — actual racism, i.e., hatred of people on solely or primarily on account of their race — is *rampant* in the Black community, and Black people get away with publicly speaking and acting in accordance with it in a way that a white person in 2022 that no white person could possibly get away with. It’s why Blacks commit a disproportionate share of the nation’s racist hate crimes, though you wouldn’t know it attending woke USCCB seminars or watching mainstream news, the way “Deacon” Greydanus evidently does.

          • According to the FBI hate crime statistics white people commit the majority of hate crimes. The number one hate crime is motivated by anti-black sentiments and the second is motivated by anti-Jewish bias.

      • Not here to contest your statistics, but rather to suggest a deeper question…I wonder if citizens surveyed today report less their “opinions” that simplistic impressions, and worse? Do prime-time analysts rely too much on impression-polls?

        Martin Luther King differed from the protests of today in the fact that he still grounded his witness on natural law rather than identity politics, e.g., “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights” (Letter from a Birmingham Jail).

        A grounding too-much obscured today? Is the accurate metaphor less that of keeping a statistical eye on politics than it is a pollster’s detached retina? And, moreover, shouldn’t it still matter to respondents when legitimate grievances are infiltrated and distorted by ideological parasites (e.g., either Marxism, or White Supremacy, or sexual disorder)?

        The president/elitist leadership of a major West Coast university met with some prominent corporate leadership to discuss the direction of higher “education.” The question was posed to academia whether students still were being given a sufficiently “liberal” (in the traditional sense of the word, e.g., the Humanities) education in order to flourish in the turbulent modern world. That is, whether such a core-course orientation should be NOT fully displaced by skewed priorities from ideological-overspecializations, e.g., woke, or the industrial-educational complex’s STEM?

        After this inquiry and yet further clarification (!), it was clear that academia did not even understand the question! Instead: “we are data-driven…” The grievances among real persons (racially/data branded) float more and more atop an oceanic cultural nihilism.

        Administrators, talking heads, parrots, pollsters, prime-time pundits—these survey the shifting deck chairs on the Titanic. If ever surveyed accurately, that’s my 51% (!) opinion…or impression…or whatever.

      • Mr Greydanus wrote:

        “Do you believe that inequalities between Black and White people are really just a matter of Black people not trying hard enough, and that if Black people would just try harder, they could be as well off as White people?”

        Not at all.

        But to conclude that blacks lag economically behind whites because of racism is a gross oversimplification.

        Schools in black neighborhoods, run nearly exclusively by Democrats, are woefully inept. This is a huge reason blacks are left behind

        In California, three-quarters of African-American boys fail to test at minimum standards in reading and writing. This is unconscionable, since it leaves blacks at a decided disadvantage in the job market.

        Yet Democrats, beholden to the teachers’ union — one of their party’s largest ongoing donors — are unwilling to upset the teachers’ very remunerative applecart.

        Also, the most accurate predictor of future success for any young person is the home. Children who are raised in families where both father and mother are present are far more likely to avoid serious trouble later in life.

        Democratic policies have devastated poor American families, many of them black, by encouraging absentee fatherhood. To the point that a minority of black children are born into two-parent families.


        These two factors are all that’s needed to explain why blacks are less well off than whites.

        Interestingly, for the first time in many years, the income differential between the two groups was coming down — albeit slowly — during Trump’s presidency.

        Now it’s skyrocketing again.

        No, Mr. Greydanus, if you’re looking for a one-word reason for the difference between black and white prosperity in this country, it’s not ‘racism.’

        It’s ‘Democrats.’

        • Brineyman,

          What specific policy interventions did Republicans make from reconstruction onward to counter these things you claim are the fault of Democrats?

          What specific interventions have Republicans made that directly sought to help Black families which as you claim were directly targeted by Democrats?

          I mean it doesn’t make sense to say it was all the Democrats if you and other Republicans don’t have explicit policy interventions to aid the Black family. If you firmly believe the Democrats sought to and did harm the Black family then what specific things did Republicans do to ameliorate the harms?

      • What do you call denying someone life saving medicine bc of their white skin color? Or teaching white privilege to children (which studies have shown makes people less forgiving) or white guilt, white fragility, privilege walks for children, white rage, race essentialism, collective guilt WHICH IS A REAL THING. Dei struggle sessions where white people are made to publicly apologize for their whiteness and their privilege. Do you watch CNN, msnbc, listen to Npr, NBC, Abc, the legacy media, new York times, Washington post
        Post. It is nonstop concrete manifestations of kendi style antiracism indoctrination which is in reality racist junk. WHITENESS IS evil IS THE MESSAGE. It is the type of material the black supremacist in Waukesha was fed constantly by mainstream news before he went on a rampage and slaughtered 6 people including children and injured 52 others. We live in a world where we are told whiteness is evil and fragile. We look around and see that despite forces that want to increase hatred between the races, objectively measurable evidence of racism has DECLINED BY 90 PERCENT SINCE THE 1960S–views on interracial marriage and hiring practices. YES, racism exists and is a problem, but the concept of white supremacy in 2022, IS ABSURD. 7 of the 8 wealthiest ethnic groups are POC. We live in a world of systemic racism where white people lie on their academic and job applications regarding the color of their skin so they can get economic, academic, and career advancements… and it works! There is no question that past racism and violence made blacks poorer. There was horrific discrimination and systemic racism that would make your blood boil. In 2022, right now. Wast Asians, Nigerians, west Africans. Indians out earn and out perform whites. 94 percent of people are in FAVOR of interracial marriage. There has been widespread structural changes in favor of closing the gaps between blacks and whites. I don’t know how useful the term systemic racism is in 2022 when poor white people are probably the most abandoned group, do your Google search of the 50 poorest counties… do it! these poor people don’t have affirmative action, set asides, legacy benefits. They have fen tanyl deaths and mobile homes that deacon would never accept for himself and his family and a factory that is moving out of town. Telling these people that they are racist oppressors and White supremacists, is the height of arrogance, which is in fact the deacon greydanus’ great sin. Pride, vanity and comtempt. We can work to improve the racism of the past, but replacing it with more racism that Deacon SDG REGURGITATES FROM democratic talking points is not the way forward.

        • What do you mean here by white privilege? What do you mean here by whiteness?

          That wall of text is hard to read.

          • Gloria, I propose that SGD confuses the debate (above, May 23, 11:25 a.m.) by inverted classification and by conflated classification! How about that for a pointy-headed remark!

            By this, first, I mean that rather than saying racism results in “we versus them,” it is better to say that “we versus them” results in racism AND a host of other such dichotomies (ethnic, religious, economic Marxism, linguistic, tribal, leadership disputes as between Sunnis versus Shi’ites, etc. etc. etc.).

            And, second, is SDG implying that a Western “culture” which has its roots in the Incarnation of the Triune Oneness into human history (at a specific time and place, which then at Nicaea borrowed the language of the Greeks) is not–in some sense–superior to all other cultures which while they do have edifying beliefs, do not have “faith” in the person of Christ and, therefore, access to the coherence of Faith & Reason?

            True, the historical record of the West, now in haphazard retreat, is not all that edifying. But is it “racism” that the providential accidents of history resulted in a Christian culture that happened for a while to be White? (e.g., there are a few very good candidates for the papacy from non-Western Africa, India and Sri Lanka, etc.).

    • The very use of the term “intellectual dishonesty” by someone who identifies himself as “Don Fannuci” is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I’ve seen in a long time.

    • The game changes when those who promote these so-called racist allegations themselves become victims of the same ideological tyranny. Extremist ideologues eventually eat their own. History is replete with such examples.

      • Aren’t you the Deacon that retired from Catholic Charities? I think my uncles kind of know you. Is that you Deacon?

  2. Life is sacred and a precious gift. Planet Earth needs love and tender care. Casteism and greed for power lead to violence, destruction of life and property, loss of peace, and depletion of natural and human resources worldwide.

  3. There never can be peace anywhere in the world as long as the moral climate in our world sanctions the war taking place against innocent human lives in what should be the safest of all places – a mother’s womb.

    Black Lives will never matter at all as long as the lives of unborn babies are considered useless trash.

    Morality demands consistency and abhors contradictions.

    • Open Wide Our Hearts is very clear and explicit that racism is a “life issue.” As long as White Catholics, including White clergy, continue to minimize and ignore important moral issues like racism, we will continue to have no credibility when we speak out about the crime of abortion.

      By the way, “but abortion” is another deflection. (“We don’t need to change. The world needs to change.”)

      • Sorry SDG, I disagree with your assessment. Are you missing everyday life? The majority of blacks and whites get along very well. Sounds like you are reading the main stream media! But one thing we do have to remember is that blacks are children of God and the majority have their own culture. Yes they are different in that respect but just like the me an Italians, or any other culture. I would suggest stop stirring the pot! Me 2 cents.

      • Unfortunately, you spend far too much time listening to faux news and reviewing too many movies. Time to escape that pit of NYC.

      • In your mind, the only way to combat racism is to attend Black Lives Matter rallies, torch a Wendy’s, buy all of Ibram X. Kendi’s books, support the teaching of racialism in public schools, and vote for Democrats.

  4. It is interesting the difference in news coverage between the depraved young white man who mowed down black people with a gun in Buffalo last week and the depraved young black man who mowed down white people with his car in Wisconsin a while back. The first will be on the news constantly for months, the latter disappeared almost immediately. The first elicited a presidential visit, the latter none. The fact is that racism is not just something white people have that negatively affects black people, but is something that all races suffer from. But I doubt if the term “honkie” will be banished from the language the way a certain other word has been, nor will the negative use of the word “goy” by Jewish folks for non-Jews. And it is always very interesting how the fact that the majority of anti-Asian violence in this country is perpetrated by blacks is ignored, as in this article. When a white young man murdered some Asians in Georgia last year, it again was on the news cycle endlessly, but the black on Asian assaults, if the details are given at all, are quickly forgotten, though the evidence of widespread black animosity towards Asians dates back at least to the LA riots of decades ago and would be a very interesting subject for journalistic investigation. But it doesn’t fit the narrative, does it?

    • The gunman in Buffalo planned carefully for months and wrote a manifesto explaining his White supremacist motives in detail — and his motives converge with the large majority of deadly political violence in the United States, so there’s a larger issue to talk about: one that, again, the last three popes and the USCCB have highlighted over and over.

      I considered mentioning the Wisconsin car attack in my homily, but I’m not aware of any clear motive in that case or of what Church teachings might tie into that case. (I also thought about mentioning the recent California church shooting by a Chinese immigrant motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people, but in the end I cut it for length.)

      • “I also thought about mentioning the recent California church shooting by a Chinese immigrant motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people, but in the end I cut it for length.” Or for political correctness?

        • On the contrary, Larry, I would have preferred to make the point that non-White people, such as the Chinese shooter at the California church, can be motivated by racism and bigotry against other minorities, or even against their own minority. As I said, I was not able to make this point because homilies are not meant to be too long. This one pushed the limits as it is.

          • Would you have cut a story about anti-black violence for the purposes of length? Of course not. You seem to take great pride in puffing out your chest and being an anti-racist try-hard, but only in relation to black people. I suspect you enjoy scrambling to the defense of black people because it makes you feel superior to your unwashed peers. You like playing the savior, and since treating black people like helpless children is what liberals do nowadays, it’s what you do. As soon as it becomes less trendy, you’ll probably find something else to be self-righteous about.

            The Waukesha killer wrote at great length about his hatred of white people, as well as his desire to kill them, on Facebook. Of course, his motives elude you because they don’t align with your racialist ideology.

          • I shared my actual thoughts with you, Robert. You are free to believe or disbelieve me, and to reach whatever conclusions commend themselves to your wit and charity. Grace and peace.

      • You’re not aware of any racial motivation in the Wisconsin attack because you are willfully blind. The assailant in that case made his racial animus quite clear on social media. But you know that. You also know that black-on-white crime, especially when the offenses are violent, greatly exceeds the opposite fact pattern. FBI crime statistics have borne that out for decades. The website VDARE, in fact, runs a monthly article that the covers interracial homicides in the US. There are twenty to forty white victims every month, while usually one or two black victims, if there are any at all. The data only bear out what we realize from our own personal experience. None of this mitigates the guilt of the psychopath who carried out the atrocity in Buffalo, but the incident does not come close to proving your argument.

        • VDare is a known white nationalist racist site. Citing them makes your information less trustworthy.

          Tony W read the Bible more, repent, turn away from VDare, and go to confession to rid yourself of the demonic influence of groups like VDare.

      • The “gunman” is an immature 18 year old kid with a HISTORY of clear mental problems.Period. Many mass shooters are mentally disturbed. Thats where this sad story begins and ends. He is not a member of any organized group. Thats the truth always lost in the narrow “racist” narrative pushed by the left and hysterical accusations of white supremacy which actually only exists in leftist narratives..

        • LJ,

          Being supposedly mentally does not undo the fact that the murderer espoused and acted on white supremacist ideology to hunt and massacre Black people. Why are you deflecting from this reality? By the way, no court declared him mentally unfit so to me it seems like you are using mental illness to avoid discussing the evil of white supremacy, its influence, and the need to denounce it and repent of it.

    • When the USCCB first undertook a ministry on cultural diversity in 2010, Deal Hudson investigated, analyzed, and published in Crisis.


      Also, the Bureau of Justice of the US DOJ has a slew of victim/offender race statistics. For starters: https://bjs.ojp.gov/library/publications/criminal-victimization-2020-supplemental-statistical-tables#additional-details-0

      Also, wasn’t it just last week that CWR or CNA reported on a bishop claiming racism was a “mortal” sin? Not perhaps, not maybe, not sometimes, but racism IS a mortal sin. (Reminding us of the time that God identified Himself as I AM. God IS.) And so racism IS a mortal sin. One lowly bishop redefines mortal sin, not as the CCC defines it, but in accordance with elite secular liberal principles in historical vogue. Who needs God and God’s church when we have elites, secularists, liberals, and a Catholic bishop to define what IS.

  5. As a Catholic in the diocese of Buffalo, our Bishop had wrote a letter which was shared at my parish by our Deacon on this. While I understand the need to stop racism and to “look in the mirror”, it just seems like things go one direction only.

    There’s no talk about the NYC subway attack, where the killer was a black male. There’s no talk about the Wakasha massacre where a black man ran over people to get away from the police. There’s nearly no talk about the pro-abortion rallys that were disruptive of Masses on Mother’s Day.

    It seems like the mainstream media, and by extension those who tend to get their news only from them, is interested only in promoting a narrative, albeit one that makes white men like me feel bad for being a white male created in the image and likeness of God. This narrative also is pushed in schools under Critical Race Theory, which is racist itself.

    Also, there seems to be no mention of abortion, which, while always killing of an innocent human life, disproportionately affects the black community. Isn’t that a major, if not the ultimate, act of racism?

    Let me be clear; ALL ACTS OF RACISM ARE TO BE CONDEMNED, JUST AS ALL ABORTIONS ARE TO BE CONDEMNED; there needs to be a more balanced approach than bringing only one side of the issue.

    Martin Luther King hoped that his kids would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Why is it that when honest people like myself judge others by the content of their character we are called racist for it? This automatic ‘racist’ punch is in itself racist is it not? In effect, those automatically calling others racist are not doing what we are asked to do, and that’s ‘look in the mirror’ with God’s Grace and be the children of God He’s asked us to be.

    • Russell,

      From my perspective the issue is not the identity of the killer, but the motive. I thought about mentioning the NYC subway mass shooting in my homily, largely because my archdiocese is in the NYC area, but he didn’t write a manifesto carefully explaining his motives, so it’s not easy to say why he did what he did, or what point from Church teaching I would highlight in connection with it. If I had mentioned the NYC subway mass shooting, it would only have been to make the point that while not all high-profile mass shootings are motivated by racism, racism is the most consistent motive, and the one that kills the most people. (In just the shootings mentioned in my homily, if I recall correctly, 45 people were killed and 66 wounded; if I had mentioned the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the numbers would be 56 and 70.)

  6. Although I may not agree with all the details of Deacon Greydanus’ article I fully agree with the intent. First to assure the reader of my commitment to Blacks, any minority I’ve served in Africa twice, as a layman and later a priest as lecturer in seminaries. As a layman I contracted malaria and drove across the Malawi Zambia border for treatment at a field hospital. En route I gave rides to Africans suffering from leprosy attempting the long walk from Malawi.
    That said, the Buffalo murderer was likely radicalized on the internet apparently via White Supremacist websites. Unfortunately, this will give an oppressive, amoral Administration opportunity to further the propaganda argument that conservatives, particularly Catholics, including Supreme Court justices are a danger to democracy. To complement this their misconstrued idea of equality drives a policy to purposely change the demographics of the Nation. The putative reason why this Administration enforces an open border policy permitting millions of migrants, the majority non Caucasian. The president, a radical segment of his Party, has repeated the theme that America in order to defeat White Supremacism must become predominantly non Caucasian. This policy also ensures the president’s Party a presumed overwhelming advantage in voting support.
    It sounds crazy because it defies justice and sound reasoning. This was the ‘rationale’ of the Buffalo mass murderer, himself with a history of derangement although not entirely incoherent. The global ideology among elites, the EU is parallel to that of our Administration [Hungary PM Viktor Orbán has defied EU policy and is the brunt of its ire. He openly accuses George Soros as a catalyst of this ideology and considers Soros a danger to his Nation’s integrity]. Our USCCB has supported our open border policy on the misconceived basis of compassion for the less fortunate, a policy adopted in line with the open border policy of Pope Francis.
    However this comment may be perceived it’s based on manifest evidence. Pope John Paul II had the opposite approach and perceived a divine favor on the formation of ethnic, culturally specific nations and patriotism. While a degree of migration is justifiable, the current globalist policy doesn’t fare well for religious, cultural identity for all.

    • I can agree that in some ways the Biden administration is oppressive, and I am no fan of the president. (I want to be clear that I’ve taken off my homilist’s hat here, and am offering my own opinions — something I try hard not to do in my homilies.)

      I don’t agree, though, with what seems to be your suggestion that Biden is aligned with a “radical segment of his Party.” The whole party is in some ways radical, but, as Democrats go these days, Biden represents the moderate segment of the party. (Again, just my opinion!)

      It is not true that the Biden administration enforces, or that the USCCB supports, an “open border” policy. At least, if “open border” means “open border,” as in people can come and go freely without being regulated, clearly that is not the case. Most people trying to cross the border are still turned away; people apprehended crossing without authorization are still incarcerated; and people who are here unlawfully are still in many cases deported.

      What leading members of the Democratic party or the Biden administration have said that “America in order to defeat White Supremacism must become predominantly non Caucasian”? That sounds like “Great Replacement theory” paranoia to me.

      • “Deacon” Greydanus is delusional. Biden is not a “moderate” Democrat except to the extent left-wing extremism is that party’s present norm, or except to the extent that anything to the right of literal Marxism-Leninism is considered “moderate” leftism. Whatever his own personal predilections, Biden publicly supports and advances just about every policy agenda of the radical wing of his party (as best he can given the American system’s checks and balances), from taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand to the most extreme form of the LGBT agenda, to advocacy of single-payer healthcare and the Green New Deal, to stoking of racial tensions by advocating QAnonesque “systemic racism” conspiracy theories.

      • Joe Biden: “So, the second thing in that black box: an unrelenting stream of immigration, nonstop, nonstop. Folks like me who were Caucasian, of European descent, for the first time in 2017 will be in an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority. Fewer than fifty percent of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock. That’s not a bad thing. That’s as a source of our strength.”

        Nancy Pelosi: “This is the first time since [the first U.S. census], that the white population is declining. It was always on the upswing. So, that speaks to the beautiful diversity of America. It speaks to how that population will, the demographics will weigh in politically.”

        The Center for American Progress: “Getting right on immigration and getting behind real and enduring immigration reform that contains a pathway to citizenship for the eleven million undocumented immigrants living in our country is the only way to maintain electoral strength in the future.”

        Julián Castro: “In a couple of presidential cycles, you’ll be on election night. You’ll be announcing that we’re calling the thirty-eight electoral votes of Texas for the Democratic nominee for president. It’s changing. It’s going to become a purple state, and then a blue state, because of the demographics, because of the population growth of folks from outside of Texas.”

        David Axelrod: “Demographics is destiny.”

        Joe Scarborough: “Demographics is destiny.”

        • As a fan of precisely none of the people named above: None of these quotations so much as mentions White supremacy, nor talks about what is necessary to defeat it from a policy or strategy perspective.

          None of the quotes from politicians, in fact, refer to any actual policy or strategy at all. They simply refer to demographic shifts as a reality that is happening. Biden and Pelosi say “Diversity is a source of strength.” Castro goes a bit further in referring to the electoral implications for Texas, but he says nothing about engineering demographic change nor about defeating White supremacy.

          You can agree or disagree about diversity as a source of strength, or ascribe unstated motives to their comments, but these quotations do not support the claim that any member of the Biden administration or any major Democratic Party official “has repeated the theme that America in order to defeat White Supremacism must become predominantly non Caucasian”.

          The Center for American Progress quote does advocate immigration policies “as a source of political strength.” But, in the first place, what the CAP says and what Biden administration and Democratic Party officials say are two different things. In the second place, in context, the CAP quote is talking about what Hispanic voters want to maintain their own electoral strength. The CAP does not say “This is what we need to do to defeat White supremacy”—but, even if it did, it would be irrelevant to what Biden administration and Democratic Party officials say.

          • Not sure why you’re minimizing the CAP’s influence. It plays a substantial role in shaping Democratic policymaking.

            Anyway, I think Robert’s point is that Democratic politicians welcome a change in demography that (theoretically speaking) favors them from an electoral standpoint. You’ll probably never hear Chuck Schumer admit that he supports “replacing” white America by diluting its electoral influence. You’re also unlikely to hear Dick Cheney admit that the Bush administration lied about Iraqi WMDs. But it’s a reasonable inference to draw. Democrats and Republicans both do this sort of thing. Republicans oppose D.C. statehood because creating such a state would give a lot of black and Democratic voters two new Senate seats. And black voters generally don’t vote for Republicans. If D.C. voted the way Wyoming does, Republicans would probably support granting it statehood.

            So, I think it’s fair to say that congressional Democrats support amnesty for illegal immigrants because they think it will benefit them from an electoral standpoint. Unfortunately for them, their plan is backfiring, at least in part. A significant share of Hispanic voters who aren’t illegal immigrants resent the idea that illegal immigrants should be rewarded. Some of them are voting for Republicans. And I imagine that a decent share of illegal immigrants will do the same thing once they’re granted citizenship. They’ll (rather hypocritically) oppose future waves of illegal immigration and vote Republican. It’s hard to see a majority of either group voting Republican, but as long as a sizable share doesn’t vote Democratic, it’ll impede what I believe to be the Democrats’ demographic agenda.

            In short, I think Democrats are trying to dilute the electoral influence of voters who, generally speaking, don’t vote for them, and they see amnesty as a means of accomplishing this. Of course, none of this legitimizes the Buffalo shooter’s actions. He’s human refuse. He doesn’t even deserve to make it to prison. And putting aside the fact that shooting anybody, citizen or non-citizen, is wrong, there’s no escaping the contradiction at the core of the slaughter he committed: all of the people he killed were black citizens. They weren’t “replacing” anybody, and even if they were, that would never justify massacring them.

          • James, I’m not minimizing or commenting on CAP’s influence one way or the other. The claim we started with appeared to be that the president himself, or a radical segment of his party with which the president was aligned, “has repeated the theme that America in order to defeat White Supremacism must become predominantly non Caucasian.” Evidence for this claim seems to be wanting. I am therefore inclined to regard this as “Great Replacement theory/White genocide” paranoia not borne out by facts.

  7. When the response to an obvious grave evil is not “What can we do to oppose this evil?” But “Don’t blame me!” that response is narcissistic, not Christian. When the response is, “We can never ever attempt to do anything as long as there is abortion anywhere in the world” it is lazy and deflective, not Christian. When the response to obviously racist hate crimes is “NO! THEM!” that is defensive, not Christian. That is, alas, the substance of most of what is being spoken in these comboxes. God bless Deacon Greydanus for calling us to think with the mind of Christ.

    • Sliming your critics with epithets is what you do best, isn’t it? In fact, it’s all you know how to do–it’s what got you kicked off the National Catholic Register, after all.

    • You vote for people who support partial-birth abortion, and you’ve spent the last few days defending Nancy Pelosi. Go away.

  8. Are killings of Black men by police officers merely isolated events, or is there a larger pattern of how police treat Black Americans? A majority of Americans (56%), including a large majority of Whites with no religious affiliation (nearly 70%), recognize that there’s a larger pattern, but a majority of White Catholics (56%) think they’re just isolated events.

    Once you make this argument, it tells me you know nothing about the subject and you speak only from your perspective of woke white guilt. Perhaps white Catholics understand these incidents are based on facts specific to each incident, that study after study shows no racial motivation in these incidents and use of force incidents are exceedingly rare. But please propagate the everything is the fault of systemic racism and never the fault of personal responsibility.

  9. It seems that SDG is much in favor of polling, but when facts are brought up he terms it “deflection.” What are some of the facts that might have a bearing on this issue? Well, Black abortions are triple their percent of the population. Black out of wedlock births are 70+ percent. Black on Black crime (murder) in inner cities is extremely high. It seems to me that this would be a ripe field for preaching on repentance and conversion. I can’t say that I have seen this though.
    He indicates that racism is systemic. But, there are no federal of state laws that are racist. All large businesses have affirmative action programs, as do colleges and universities.
    There are racist, just as there are rapist, thieves, murderers, baby killers, pornographers, etc. We are a sinful world. But, pointing out that people should look at the beam in their own eye before pointing out the speck (beam) in anothers eye is not deflection.

    • The playing field is not level for systemic reasons that go back decades and centuries.

      To give just a few significant examples, racist federal policies from the 1930s to the 1960s systematically built up White middle-class wealth via a number of agencies and programs (the HOLC, the FHA, VA loans, with cooperation and complicity of banks and other lending institutions) while systematically excluding Black families from benefitting. White flight into suburbs was subsidized and incentivized and communities and whole towns were created that were intentionally race-exclusive, either de facto or even explicitly and on paper. Urban Black communities, systematically deprived of both government and private funds, decayed further, becoming slums.

      These exclusions were not absolute: Some Black veterans were able to benefit from educational and housing opportunities, laying the groundwork for today’s Black middle class. But these were exceptional cases in programs that, by and large, benefitted Whites and excluded Blacks.

      As a result of these policies and others, White communities built up a store of intergenerational wealth, with all the socioeconomic benefits that come with that: better schools, safer environments, better job prospects, better relations with law enforcement, etc. Black communities, by contrast, are disproportionately blighted by concentrated urban poverty, which correlates with poorer social outcomes on almost all counts, and was largely engineered by racist government and institutional policies and actions.

      • And yet, isn’t it weird that literally every other once-despised ethnic minority (including black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean) has managed to overcome these hurdles? And yet native-born African Americans continue to be the (relative) exception to this trend. Are we allowed to ask why that is?

        Sure, no one enters into existence on a purely even “playing field” as another person. So what? That’s just life. Native-born American Blacks enjoy a heck of a lot more socioeconomic privilege than their counterparts in Africa itself. If any particular individual is victimized by another, his claim is on the particular other(s) who victimized him. It’s morally perverse in the extreme to fault people living today for crimes committed by people who lived long ago just because the former happen to share some degree of skin color with the latter — especially considering that many of us are ourselves children of immigrants who had nothing to do with those injustices. Today’s “whites” are the Jews of yesteryear, and “systemic racism” is the respectable man’s blood libel. The fact that we’re sick and tired of being victimized by this libel from African Americans and their white (including clerical) enablers does not make us racist or “informed by racial resentment.”

        • No, Don, it is not true that racism only affects Black people. As Open Wide Our Hearts points out, racism comes in many forms, and the prejudice that affects Hispanics and Latinos is different than the racism that affects Native Americans or East Indians, Asians, Middle Easterners, Africans, and African Americans, but all these groups experience certain disadvantages for not being White.

          From Open Wide Our Hearts:

          All too often, Hispanics and African Americans, for example, face discrimination in hiring, housing, educational opportunities, and incarceration. Racial profiling frequently targets Hispanics for selective immigration enforcement practices, and African Americans, for suspected criminal activity. There is also the growing fear and harassment of persons from majority Muslim countries. Extreme nationalist ideologies are feeding the American public discourse with xenophobic rhetoric that instigates fear against foreigners, immigrants, and refugees…

          We read the headlines that report the killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officials. In our prisons, the number of inmates of color, notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate.4 Despite the great blessings of liberty that this country offers, we must admit the plain truth that for many of our fellow citizens, who have done nothing wrong, interactions with the police are often fraught with fear and even danger.

          We have also seen years of systemic racism working in how resources are allocated to communities that remain de facto segregated. As an example, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, resulted from policy decisions that negatively affected the inhabitants, the majority of whom were African Americans. We could go on, for the instances of discrimination, prejudice, and racism, sadly, are too many.

          Those with ears to hear, let them hear. For the rest … let them deflect.

          • The majority of the policy decisions that caused the water crisis in Flint were made by the local, largely black-run, government. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any of them were motivated by a desire to hurt black people. There are reasons why American cities like Flint and Detroit are a complete mess. It has everything to do with the corruption and incompetence of the people running them, not white supremacy and inequitable resource allocation. Citing the Marxist garbage produced by the USCCB as authoritative is not going persuade any intelligent person.

          • Dear “Deacon” Greydanus: I understand that under Pope Francis, most Catholic ministers vie with each other to see who can best succeed in making Catholicism the stupid man’s religion, but out in the real world (and, indeed, according to real Catholic theology) a bishop’s mere say-so — let alone, the mere say-so of a political document published by a committee of an episcopal conference — does not make reality. A lie does not become a truth just because a bishop regurgitates it. “Open Wide Our Hearts” does not represent authentic Catholic teaching, nor does it represent the only (let alone the best) way to understand the dynamics of American society. To give just one example, the presumption — one that isn’t even argued for; it truly is just a presumption — that all inequality in outcome between members of different ethnic groups can only be accounted for by racial malice is an unwarranted one. Equally unwarranted is the radical (and, historically, unCatholic) egalitarianism that presumption is premised upon, namely that all people and cultures (and subcultures) are the same, such that in literally any human endeavor the only or primary explanation for any disparity in outcome is some species of racism.

          • Don:

            To give just one example, the presumption — one that isn’t even argued for; it truly is just a presumption — that all inequality in outcome between members of different ethnic groups can only be accounted for by racial malice

            To give just one example of the depths of your willful misunderstanding: I never said such a thing, or does Open Wide Your Hearts. Enjoy your straw-man argument, if that’s what you’re into.

            Equally unwarranted is the radical (and, historically, unCatholic) egalitarianism that presumption is premised upon, namely that all people and cultures (and subcultures) are the same, such that in literally any human endeavor the only or primary explanation for any disparity in outcome is some species of racism.

            Once again, this is an obviously ridiculous straw man — unless by denying that “all people are the same” you mean to assert, not that one individual differs from another (obviously true), but that scientific racism is true — that White people really are better on the whole (more intelligent, more diligent, more moral) than Black people. Is that your claim?

          • “Deacon” Greydanus: If you do not subscribe to those premises, then there is no basis for your claim that disagreement with the “systemic racism” conspiracy theory ipso facto constitutes racism or being influenced by racist ideas.

          • Don: If you think that systemic racism depends on active “racial malice,” you don’t understand literally the first thing about the concept of systemic racism, or what makes it systemic rather than personal.

  10. We are told we are racist if we are concerned about the black family. We are told we are racist if we are concerned about the black child killed in abortion. We are told we are racist if we a concerned with the daily killings in the black community. This is not unusual when you consider that it was the left that destroyed the black family. and they are eager to deflect.

    • You’re responding to a man who thinks that Biden is a “moderate.” Compared to Hitler or Stalin, that might be an accurate assessment. In the minds of far too many Truth is fungible.

    • No one is racist for “caring about the Black family.” When someone always insists on changing the subject to “the Black family” every time the topic of racism is brought up, that’s when it looks like people are telling on themselves. Especially when — as you, Mr. Ruse, have repeatedly done in conversation with me — they repeatedly claim to be unaware of any evidence of systemic racism, and are unwilling either to seek out the facts or to learn them when presented with them.

      Conservatives love to invoke the 1965 Moynihan Report, which highlighted what Daniel Patrick Moynihan considered the crisis of lack of strong family structure in urban Black communities — divorce, illegitimacy, absence of father/providers, households headed by single mothers — and in sociological problems associated with family breakdown and concentrated urban poverty.

      Yet why is the Black family in crisis? For Moynihan, it was a symptom of a deeper social problem: “Negro social structure, in particular the Negro family, battered and harassed by discrimination, injustice, and uprooting, is in the deepest trouble.”

      More specifically, Moynihan saw two interrelated obstacles to Black progress:

      First, the racist virus in the American blood stream still afflicts us: Negroes will encounter serious personal prejudice for at least another generation. Second, three centuries of sometimes unimaginable mistreatment have taken their toll on the Negro people…

      It is…difficult, however, for whites to perceive the effect that three centuries of exploitation have had on the fabric of Negro society itself. Here the consequences of the historic injustices done to Negro Americans are silent and hidden from view. But here is where the true injury has occurred: unless this damage is repaired, all the effort to end discrimination and poverty and injustice will come to little.

      Yet conservatives continue to wring their hands about “the Black family” as if the problems of the Black community existed in a vacuum, as if Black people were inherently less moral than White people, as if the concentrated urban poverty disproportionately affecting the Black community had not been engineered by decades of racist government programs.

      • The systematic racism of slavery was created by democrats. The systematic racism of Jim Crow was created by Democrats. The systematic racism of fatherlessness, crime, gun violence and all the other pathologies taking place in black neighborhoods was also created by Democrats. Is there systematic racism? Plenty. Look in the mirror.

        • “Look in the mirror.” Oh, I do, friend. One of my mantras is “The homilist preaches first of all to himself.” I would not have preached these words, from Open Wide Our Hearts, without a long habit of self-examination and pursuit of conversion on this topic:

          In this regard, each of us should adopt the words of Pope Francis as our own: let no one “think that this invitation is not meant for him or her.” All of us are in need of personal, ongoing conversion.

          I even literally said, in my homily, “Our White neighbors who don’t even go to church have more openness and awareness regarding the reality of racism than church-going Catholics who look like me.”

          Something I didn’t say, by the way, is “Republicans are more guilty than Democrats.” I have no interest in indicting or defending any political party. It’s instructive, though, that you see it that way.

          • In that vein, perhaps you could candidly discuss with us the ways in which you have behaved (or even are behaving) in a racist manner towards black people so that we can all discuss how you can change your behavior and serve as an example for the rest of us. Judging from your indictment of all of us, you yourself must have committed the sin of racism numerous times–unless you contend that you are far holier than we who hear your message.

        • Austin,
          Your initial points are not very useful. The Democratic Party of the past (for which I would have voted) is not the Democratic Party of today. Nor is the Republican. They’re just names.

          • It is the Democratic Party of today that has destroyed the black family and kills more black babies than are born in New York City. It is the same party as of old.

  11. The Buffalo gunman is mentally ill, as are many such murderers. Whether in his right mind he would be racist is something we don’t know. For at least a year he ranted insanely and did get a mental health evaluation of some sort but was released again. He finally did what he’d been threatening for so long, and now people are blaming it on racism. How about finally giving some treatment to those suffering from serious mental illness, even if the treatment is against the wishes of the mentally ill person? What would they say if they were in their right minds and not paranoid? Paranoia is the first symptom to appear and the last to disappear.

  12. It saddens me deeply that Mr. Greydanus has apparently taken up the cry that American culture is a hotbed of systemic white supremacism.

    Are there loutish social misfits who live in their parents’ basements and spend their nights viewing porn and posting racist inanities on Tik Dork?

    Undeniably. And the Buffalo shooter with his ridiculous manifesto — in which he excoriates Fox News and proclaims his left-leaning political stance — is apparently one example.

    But, if you look past the DNC-run MSM, there are dysfunctional, sad, hate-spewing people of all colors out there.

    Including many disturbed and violent black perpetrators like the Waukesha SUV guy mentioned previously who purposely plowed through the sweet Dancing Grannies in the Christmas parade, mowing down 50 people and killing at least six.

    His social media posts were filled with rabid anti-white, anti-cop, anti-semitic and anti-gay hate.

    There are also crazed Muslim jihadists who feel they are doing Allah’s will when they murder random Christians. Major Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter, and the Boston Marathon bombers, are just a few of the many I could mention.

    But it’s also true that there’s an anti-white race huckstering industry in this country that threatens to turn us into a still more racist society. The CRT curricula now sweeping through our elementary schools and turning children against each other are evidence.

    Now, in terms of numbers, I have to differ strongly with Mr. Greydanus’ implication that white supremacists pose the largest threat to America. That rubric needs to go to leftists and Democrats, I’m afraid.

    To wit, a few examples:

    — Frank James: Brooklyn subway shooter; black nationalist leftist; social media presence includes praise of Castro and Cuban Communism, as well as rants about “whitey.”

    — Nidal Hasan: Ft. Hood shooter; Muslim who was registered Democrat.

    — Micah Xavier Johnson: Shot eleven police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five; member of the Nation of Islam and the Black Liberation Party.

    — Omar Mateen: Killed forty-nine at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida; registered Democrat.

    — Aaron Alexis: Shot twelve people at a Navy ship yard; leftist Obama voter.

    — Seung-Hui Cho: Virginia Tech shooter; wrote hate mail to President Bush and to his staff; registered Democrat.

    — James Holmes: Killed twelve in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2012; a progressive Democrat who hated Christians and worked on the Obama campaign.

    — Adam Lanza: A registered Democrat who shot and killed twenty-six people in a school in Newtown, CT.

    — Amy Bishop: Radical leftist university professor who shot six of her colleagues, killing three, at the University of Alabama; Obama supporter.

    — Andrew J. Stack: Flew a plane into IRS building in Texas; leftist Democrat.

    — James Hodgkinson: Leftist activist who shot several people on a softball field in Alexandria, Virginia; among the victims was GOP Congressman Steve Scalise.

    — James J. Lee: The militant environmentalist who took hostages at Discovery Channel; progressive liberal Democrat.

    — Jared Loughner: Tucson shooter; leftist, Marxist; favorite books included ‘The Communist Manifesto.’

    And there are more I could name.

    Mr. Greydanus, can you come up with anywhere near that many mass killings by white supremacists?

    I don’t believe you can.

    • How about those two losers who went on a sniping expedition along the highways in Northern Virginia for weeks until they were caught. This terrorized the local population. They were finally caught. I’m sure the leftist, woke, insane Democrat establishment in D.C. and the media blamed their acts on “White racism.”

      Unfortunately, when everything is interpreted through the prism of “racism”, then real racism where it does occur is ignored. The author of this piece, because he has thrown his lot in with the current mindless, emotionally-driven group-think, has done a grave disservice to the search for Truth.

  13. Surely there are other writers out there with a reasoned approach to these questions, who come to very different conclusions. Perhaps CWR could run something by one of them? It may have done so already and I am just not recalling it.

  14. Without a doubt this is the most offensive and racist article I have read in the several years of viewing this website. I am sick of hearing from professional victims of color and self loathing whites. If you are white and feel guilty, have a field day.Leave the rest of us alone. I am tired of being blamed for something I have not done and will not accept any such blame, whether it comes from the church or not. I am white, and grew up poor. My husband and I got where we are today because we worked hard and kept out of trouble. I live in an upscale neighborhood now, and I owe nothing to anyone for what I have accomplished. For those who wish to follow our path, here is my advice: Dont do drugs, dont join gangs, dont get arrested, dont disrespect the police, dont get pregnant at 15, and finally, work hard as soon as you can get a job , and finish school. I commuted at night on a bus and a train to a minimum wage, part time job until I could find another minimum wage job closer to home. I worked my way through public ( cheaper) college as my parent lacked the money to send me to a name school. Easy or fun? No. And my being “white” made none of this easier.I worked hard , and did the right thing. Period.If you say people of color cannot do this you are lying. We have twice had a black president ( elected with a TON of white votes by the way) , govt officials, astronauts, doctors, lawyers, teachers and anything else you can name. NOTHING is closed to black people today, and has not been for decades. However I have been forced to watch over the last two years as rioters burned down our cites, attacked our police, and now minority gangs shoplift stores which are being driven out of business because evidently there is a moratorium on arresting blacks for the crimes they commit. I have heard our “president” enact aid to help ONLY black small businesses and farms during covid. I have seen public schools attempt to indoctrinate our children in critical race theory in an attempt to divide our nation and make whites feel guilty.I have heard medical systems declare that blacks would get preferential treatment in hospitals (!!!!!) over whites. Is this NOT racism?? Or does racism only flow one way? I have seen the BLM movement accrue a 90 million dollar windfall of white guilt payments from individuals and corporations who should know better, only to discover the money is unaccounted for and misappropriated. For some time, I have boycotted companies (coke!) who spout woke leftist ideology and encourage my friends to do so as well. Those who distort our history and seek to destroy the country will do so without my cooperation, my guilt, or my financial support as a customer. Woke Politicians will NOT get my vote, and my cash will support candidates of ALL colors who put a color blind America first. What I think about the professional grievance mongers would likely not be permitted to be printed here. But I will say, if your plan is to make me feel guilty for who I am, you have picked the wrong woman. I have no interest in anything that side has to say. The culture of victim-hood is KILLING this country.

  15. Thanks for preaching the Gospel, Deacon. The clearest proof that a) it is indeed the Gospel, and b) it needed to be preached, is the overwhelming percentage of hysterical “I’m not the problem, how dare you say I am!!!” comments posted here. If they were deliberately trying to prove you right, they couldn’t have done a better job.

    • Fake Good News, not the gospel. Not by a long shot. Those who proclaim this nonsense instead of “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” will have something to answer for on Judgement Day. That includes any and all church officials.

    • Leveling fake charges against people who are innocent is a specialty of the left. Trying to ascribe group guilt to individuals guilty of nothing is little more than a politically convenient distortion of reality. “As a white person you are automatically guilty. Of what?? Well, we will think of something. Charges of racism from 1930 look pretty good”. I dont know where the politics of overt reverse racism leave my bi-racial nieces and nephews, but then, I dont care what the left thinks, of me or anyone else. .

    • Oh, right, Michaelangelo. Denying you are racist only proves that you are racist, is that it?

      I would say that you’re being illogical, but using logic is also racist.

      Neat trick!

  16. “You know what our Black brothers and sisters hear at times like that? They hear us saying, “We don’t need to change. You need to change.”

    Not precisely. What we’re saying is that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Set your own houses, families, and communities in order first. Then you might have some credibility to encourage others to change.

  17. It’s surprising to see such an ideological piece on this site. But it would not the be the first time the Deacon has adopted ideological views, including in place of the Faith. It seems the purpose of this essay is to promote the dubious, if not unsupported claim of systemic racism and its derivatives. This seems verified when the Deacon doubles down on the idea that any inequality is due to racism and dismisses the real problem with a sort of caricature, i.e., the fact that the number one indicator of poverty, crime, etc., for blacks is illegitimacy/the breakdown of marriage & family, which is even more accelerated amongst the black community. This was first formally established with the “Moynihan report” in the 1960’s. It must be said, though, that there is much blame for the white leftist establishment- and many neo-cons too- for ignoring this and even deliberately perpetuating it. This is why they ignored the report’s findings and instead threw what is essentially population control, and welfare at the problem, which is continued today.

    Let’s note the various fallacies and other weaknesses here: 1) an uncritical acceptance of the ideological narrative about the buffalo event and taking only those notions that originate from a particular viewpoint. (The fact a certain narrative was immediately promoted prior to even all the facts being known is part of the proof it is political/ideological.) This also includes dismissing other factors, i.e. this man has a history of mental illness and had threatened people of all races and groups previously; or the notion that leftist forces have assigned it to what they call the “replacement theory”, which it appears most people have never heard of. 2) using what is a rare, isolated incident to make broad claims, that of “systemic racism,” including in the Church. 3) the lack of any data to support the latter claim, but instead using opinion polls and anecdotal sources. What research/data, if any, supports especially the claim it is currently a problem in the Church? People try to get around this with the “systemic” claim precisely because they lack the data and examples. But, for one, racism is not some abstraction as though it exists independently. Ultimately, we must be talking about people who hold racist views, attitudes, etc. So, we are left with the contention that the Church has a great percentage of racists in it. Again, what is one citing to support this claim?

    There seems to be a version of white guilt peddled here- you may not be racist, but there’s racism that’s institutionalized, you just don’t see it, you have to acknowledge it! Sorry. Not a few bishops and others were pushed into accepting such narratives back at the time, perhaps partly because of white guilt and for fear they would be labeled as racist and such if they didn’t sign on. Let’s not be foolish enough to deny this was a cause du jour that also lended itself to virtue signalling. Finally, the very thing people want to combat is actually often furthered by promoting dubious narratives, i.e., the more one claims there is racism, fear, hatred, everywhere, the more people will start to think it is, where it may not have existed before. This phenomena is even beginning to be documented through research. For some, especially in the political class, that is exactly the reason they do it.

    • The odd thing about the ‘Replacement Theory as conspiracy theory’ template is that the Replacement Theory is based on two undeniable facts. One, watch any newscast around an election cycle and you’ll not see a journalist or political pundit who denies that the Democrats see their immigration stances as beneficial for increasing votes within the Latino community. And two, the decline of Caucasians in both Europe and America is often reported from a purely positive, if not celebratory, angle. Many headlines heralded the decline of ‘White Americans’ as the majority ethnic group as a boon, a plus, a positive, something to cheer about.

      So perhaps someone has gone and framed these two facts in some bizarre Martian from Mars Brain Ray conspiracy theory. But believing the idea that the Democrats are advocating immigration policy to increase their voter base, and that the decline of white majorities in Europe and America are universally praised among the MSM and political left is as correct as believing the moon landings actually happened.

  18. It’s amusing how the deacon never offers a solution. He just tells people to spend the rest of their lives in a state of permanent psychological revolution, constantly “doing the work” and washing their brains of anything that might resemble a prejudiced thought. We can call this strategy the anti-racist Ludovico technique.

    • On the contrary, Robert, I’ve got lots of thoughts and opinions on specific policies and actions that should be undertaken in the course of dismantling the vestiges of White supremacy. I would never talk about policy opinions in a homily, though. As a homilist I can only call people to the conversion to which the Church calls us all. Some will hear and respond, some won’t.

  19. I would suggest that the author go to city-journal.org and read the following article: “How Really to Be an Antiracist
    Teach black kids to read” by Kay S. Hymowitz,Spring 2022.

    After having digested the deplorable data contained therein, he might consider volunteering his time to educate African-American children in NYC in reading skills. That would do more to counter institutional racism than promoting false notions about systemic racism fostered by White Supremacists.

  20. While there are many problems with this essay, the main problem is that it’s more a political editorial than a homily. Much of it rests heavily on leftwing political narratives and templates, many of which are flawed at best. Some are outright false. Some egregiously so. And the method for hoisting these narratives in our popular media has become its own evil: the shameless exploitation or, worse, ignoring of human death and suffering and sin unless it is able to reinforce these narratives.

    Hence a week later we continue to see the Buffalo shooting as headline news at the top of the hour and on the front page. Meanwhile other similarly horrific crimes are routinely ignored or tossed aside within days if they aren’t useful in buttressing a particular line of activism, involve the wrong demographic groups, or can’t be pinned on the appropriate political adversaries. It is one of the shadow evils of our age, and any Catholic would do well to condemn it, not base a line of reasoning upon it.

    With that said, there is certainly much here, and much to dissect and criticize. For instance, what is called deflecting from the issue of racism may actually be pointing out that this leftwing approach to the topic of racism is flawed and based heavily on prejudice and the opportunistic ignoring of inconvenient facts. This isn’t to say that if there are Catholics who struggle with deep-seated racism they shouldn’t take measures to rectify the problem.

    But the leftwing narrative, that we can make assumptions based on skin color, ignore inconvenient human suffering, or apply standards differently based on group or ethnic identity, is – as one commenter wryly put it – nothing but old racism in a new bottle. The idea that simply because someone rejects a political narrative and happens to have certain skin tones can be judged accordingly is no less a racist template than the racism such homilies as this are trying to eliminate.

  21. Thank you Deacon Greydanus for this homily.

    Some thoughts to consider about racism in this country.

    1. African Americans make up 13.4% of the population, but 38% of the people in prison while whites make up roughly 60% of the population while having a similar number incarcerated… but it is not racism?

    2. Between 2017 and 2020, 1,683 whites were killed in police shootings while 908 African Americans were killed… but when adjusted for their percentage of the population, that means Afrian Americans are roughly 2.4 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police… but it is not racism?

    3. Average black unemployment in 2019 was 6.1% while white unemployment was 3.3%, and mind you that 6.1% was the lowest annual average I could find in statistics going back to 1973, and only in recent years have African American unemployment dipped below twice that of white unemployment (most years before 2010, it was a little higher than twice)…. but it is not racism?

    • Sorry, I posted before I was finished…

      I am sure I could find a dozen other statistics that make a similar point, blacks are far worse off in this country that whites are. With all that being said, if it is not racism what is it? Yeah, someone talked about broken families, and there is some truth to that, but lets be honest, white working class people have followed African Americans down that road and yet things are still on average worse for African Americans than they are for white folks. And are African Americans to blame for the fact that Racism was certainly a structural issue for them prior to the Civil Rights Act? Generations who were systematically denied access to higher education, property ownership and a host of other factors?

      You know what, it is not even important, we are Christian, or we claim to be. The question is, what are we going to do about it? If the problem is African Americans don’t work hard enough, the answer cannot be for them to work harder, that is not the Christian answer. If the problem is the broken homes of so many African Americans, the answer cannot be for them to fix their homes. God’s gift to us was totally unearned by us and we are called to share his graces to us with those around us. We must work to alleviate the suffering of others or we should stop lying to ourselves and call ourselves Christian.

      • “If the problem is white people are racist, the answer cannot be for them to work harder at not being racist; that is not the Christian answer.”

        I just love how leftists believe “white” people are responsible for their own behavior and the behavior of others, while non-whites (especially Blacks) are not responsible for either. It’s as if leftists believed Blacks were subhuman animals.

      • Well, Bill. You wave off broken families like it is not a relevant factor. In fact statistically,70% of Black children are born out of wedlock. There are tons of statistics that show growing up in a fatherless home to be a strong indicator of later life failure. The “racism prior to the civil rights act” is 60 years behind us. Its time to give it a rest as an excuse for non-achievement today. . In the ensuing decades, poor Americans have been given free housing, welfare, preferential admission to colleges,food,medical care, free Obama Phones, and on and on.Come to think of it, why bust your butt working at all?? People’s lives are derailed by drugs, crime, and a lack of education with which to obtain a decent paying job. NOBODY forces you to take drugs, commit crime, or drop out of school, and race is not behind the outcomes of those individual decisions. Decisions have consequences. You say the answer cannot be for them to work harder or fix their homes??? You seem to suggest we just shovel more free money at the problem and call it Christianity. We have done that for generations with little positive result. What about trying, “no work,no money?” I dont believe it’s Christian to blame others for your problems, often problems of your own making. Republican Senator Tim Scott ( who is black) rose from an impoverished background to become a sitting US Senator. Nothing is impossible, but you have to at least try to help yourself, work hard and make correct decisions. Not expect someone else to do it for you.

      • Your claims are easily refuted because there is no middle point of causation- you take certain data and then posit that it must be due to racism. There is no causal link shown, e.g., you would have to show that the reason why blacks have a higher unemployment rate is because they are systematically denied hiring, promotion, or are fired because of their race, which is illegal of course. Is there any such data? I don’t think so, and this is even more significant again considering it’s illegal, so there would be a remedy and also a paper trail. The next step for someone positing such a claim would then be to say that they can’t seek any remedy because the “system” is racist, at which point it goes to absurdity.

        You also dismiss out of hand causes for which there is ample data, e.g., the reason why so many young black men are incarcerated is precisely because they tend to commit more crime! -not because the police go around arresting innocent blacks because they’re all racist. Then, the reason for the latter is largely that more than 2 out of 3 blacks are born out of wedlock and have no family and father and the many consequences that stem from this. This makes them prone to turn to crime and gang involvement. (And yes, this is why there is a steady increase in crime in general, including among whites.)

        Some of this system is racist in a sense, in that the same people, mostly on the left, who like to scream racism are the ones who have done nothing about the problem and deliberately perpetuated it. In the 1960’s the lyndon johnson administration did an examination of the problem at that time and issued what is called the Moynihan Report. It confirmed what has just been outlined, as even by then 1/3 blacks were already illegitimate. It was essentially ignored and they opted to engage in population control- black poverty is supposedly caused by them having too many children so let’s try to get them to have fewer kids- and establish the current welfare system to replace the father with a welfare check

      • You seem unwilling, or perhaps simply incapable, of considering any other explanations for the phenomena you see. You have a one-size=fits all explanation for everything. For instance : maybe part of the reason why a lot of blacks get shot is because of the sky-high level of criminality in the black community. More crime=more confrontations with police=more shootings. Simple, huh? But utterly taboo to even consider for a certain kind of person.
        Oh, and there is no universal obligation for Christians to “alleviate the suffering of others.” No mandate of a universal philanthropy. You were badly catechized, and have a poor understanding of what Christianity is about. Fix that before you go off accusing others of not being Christian enough.

      • No, Robert, I don’t believe sexism is the reason that most convicts are men — but then, in keeping with Catholic teaching, I believe that the differences between men and women go more than skin deep, while the differences between Black and White people don’t.

        Do you believe something different about Black and White people?

        • Deacon Steven,
          I think you are avoiding the point. The point is not the WHY.
          According to statistics, blacks are vastly over-represented in the commission of crimes, murders, etc…. according to public statistics. As are men. For whatever reason.
          If this is true… again, for whatever reason… would it not also be unsurprising and appropriate that one finds that they are disproportionately incarcerated?
          Now, one may doubt the statistics. That they are extremely skewed. You may not believe those statistics. I will not argue that. But the point is that one cannot assume injustice based solely on percentages, without some further explanation.
          For my part, so you know, I do not believe that there is any significant biological or intrinsic moral distinction between the races.

          • Robert,

            Thank you for clarifying your position regarding the absence of biological or intrinsic moral distinction between the races. I appreciate that, and it does not seem to be the case for everyone commenting here.

            Here is a somewhat simplified picture of what I think: For a host of socioeconomic reasons which are deeply rooted in our nation’s history of White supremacy and systemic racism, Black communities are very disproportionately affected by concentrated urban poverty, which correlates with a host of poor social outcomes, including higher rates of violent crime — and also, because of compounding factors bound up in the history of White supremacy and systemic racism, Black communities, and Black individuals specifically, are treated very differently than similar White communities and White individuals in similar circumstances.

            Compared to a White man who commits or is suspected or accused of committing a crime, a Black man under similar circumstances is a) more likely to be arrested; b) if arrested, more likely to be charged; c) if charged, more likely to be convicted; d) if convicted, more likely to receive a harsher sentence; and e) if sentenced, less likely to be paroled. In other comments I also pointed out that even a paper much touted by conservatives for finding that police officers were not more likely to use lethal force against Black men than against White men under similar circumstances still found that police officers were more likely to escalate to every nonlethal use of force (laying hands on a suspect, pushing them to the wall or the ground, drawing a baton, using a baton, handcuffing them) than against a White man in similar circumstances.

            Even after he gets out of prison, not only is a Black man with a criminal record is treated as a greater liability by employers than a White man with a similar record, studies have shown that a Black man with a clean record is less likely to be hired than a similarly qualified White man with a criminal record — and this is the case even for companies with supposedly progressive hiring practices.

            Data on all of these points is readily available for the Googling.

          • Deacon Stevens,
            I recognize that “Googling” may produce different results, but some (though perhaps not all) of your assertions are simply inaccurate. I cannot speak to the entirety of America, but it is simply an unfortunate fact that many police find it easier to arrest White men, and hold them to higher standards, than blacks.
            Indeed, the fact is, unfortunately, even people like me find it more difficult to trust a White man with a criminal record than a black man. I doubt that I am alone in this feeling.
            Moreover, with respect, my overall point is not rebutted. Don’t judge statistics without looking into them. Even your points support this.

          • “it is simply an unfortunate fact that many police find it easier to arrest White men, and hold them to higher standards, than blacks”

            …that is literally the opposite of what statistics show, Robert.

            For example, Blacks are arrested at 3 to 4 times the rate of Whites for use of cannabis (marijuana), yet cannabis use rates are roughly equal among Blacks and Whites.

        • There are indeed difference between Blacks and “whites” that go further than skin-deep, but this appears to be due to cultural and not biological factors.

    • Out of curiosity, relative to the adjustment for blacks killed by police, how many police are killed by blacks? And by that, I mean when considering the populations adjusted. Likewise, how about other forms of homicide. Do blacks kill more whites or whites kill more blacks? And again, adjusted for population. I see certain stats repeated often – as the ones you’ve mentioned. But there are so many I never see, much less see repeated. I’d be curious to have a broader look at the stats I mentioned, as well as others.

      • Dave G, thanks for asking. A few notes:

        1. From a conservative source, The Public Discourse: As of 2020, comparing police killings of members of different racial groups to the share of violent crimes committed by those groups, police kill comparatively few white people (5% less than would be proportionate to the white share of violent crimes) and more black people (16% more than would be proportionate to the black share of violent crimes). The Public Discourse also notes that, despite longer trends of declining violent crime and police fatalities, police violence has risen both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of all U.S. violent deaths.

        2. According to analysis much reported by conservatives, a paper by Roland Fryer of Harvard University purported to show that, according to police self-reporting, when it comes to the use of lethal force, police are not more likely to use lethal force in similar circumstances against Black people than against White people.

        What conservatives touting this finding almost never mention is that Fryer also found that for every level of escalation of force short of lethal force — from laying hands on a suspect or drawing a baton or weapon to pushing a suspect to the wall or the ground, cuffing him, using a baton on him, etc. — police self-reporting showed that, in similar circumstances, police were more likely to escalate with a Black person than with a White person. (FWIW, I think there’s good reason to trust that police are telling the truth when they report on their own bias in the use of non-lethal force, but to doubt the objectivity of their reporting in the equal use of lethal force — considering police reports where there is a fatality are investigated very differently than a routine report where the suspect was only manhandled or handcuffed. In many departments, a 24- to 48-hour stopwatch begins ticking after a fatality has occurred. During this time the officer is not obliged to comment or address what happened — supposedly because reports made in the heat of the moment may not be as neutral and objective as after the officer has had some time to process what happened, recall all the facts, and be sure of the exact sequence. Officers have more time to think about what they want to say, and they always know their actions will be scrutinized more closely. Even so, the evidence of bias is there.)

        • But again, my question. Are more police killed by blacks than whites? In real numbers or by percentage of population. As for what the police report, I would trust that no more than any report from a heavily scrutinized group where, for many, the verdict is already in. No, I’d like more stats than I’m seeing. I want to see how many police are killed by blacks, or other ethnic groups. I want to see how many in general are killed by various ethnic groups.

          BTW, I’m not sure where the declining trends in police fatalities comes from. Even a report on CBS admitted that violence against police has increased. And what’ more alarming, many of the police killed or wounded are victims of flat out assassination attempts and planned ambushes. So that’s a little off from ‘declining’. From a BBC report: “Murders of police officers rose by nearly 60% during 2021”

          • Dave G: If you understood the stats I mentioned, you would assume that, certainly Blacks are more likely to kill police than Whites. But you would also suppose, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that, since it is established that police kill Blacks at rates disproportionate to the higher rate of violent crime among Blacks, the higher rate of police lethality against Blacks is disproportionate to the higher level of risk.

            In answer to your question about the last couple of years: These stats are as of 2020, and represent long-term trends of decades of falling violence rates. The uptick in violence in the last couple of years is a complicating factor, but the trends as of 2020 were well established.

          • This is to Deacon, since I can’t find a reply button to his comment.

            A couple of things. Your first paragraph seems to be suggesting that if we parse the numbers, it makes more sense for blacks to kill police than for police to defend against blacks. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean. But we don’t want to become number crunchers, so I’ll leave that go.

            Your second paragraph, however, is more of a problem. First, it matters not for the last two years of spikes in murdered police, including ambushes and assassinations, to say ‘but things were getting better for a bit.’ One year should raise alarms. If things were getting better for blacks and we suddenly saw an increase in anti-black violence in a year, would we wave it aside? Probably not.

            But while one could draw a line through some stats and conclude there was, overall and in the broadest sense, a general decline when looking at a particular set of data, it’s not that simple. The long term trends, at best, saw a general slowdown of police killed, but that was often sporadic. And toward the late 2000s, the trends began to increase again. Since then there have been years of extreme spikes, and moderate decline. But the number of purposeful attacks and assassinations, such as the five police officers murdered by the black racist shooter (which prompted a generic media reaction akin to ‘well, that’s what comes from growing up black in a racist nation”), have increased, which should be alarming.

            If we want to fix racism, we don’t do so by simply moving the labels around as to who gets to hate and attack who. The Left may do that, but Christians shouldn’t.

    • According to FBI crime statistics, in 2019, there were a total of 7,964 murders in America. Blacks committed 51% of them, whites committed 45% of them. This kind of split remains fairly constant in all categories of violent crime. It should therefore not surprise anyone that blacks come in contact with police at higher rates than whites.


      I am quite sure the good deacon will now accuse me of racism for pointing out these facts.

    • Responding to Bill McHale’s three points:

      “1. African Americans make up 13.4% of the population, but 38% of the people in prison while whites make up roughly 60% of the population while having a similar number incarcerated… but it is not racism?”

      Not necessarily, Bill. Not by a longshot. A number of factors could contribute to this. You’re assuming the two groups commit serious crimes at the same rate — an extremely dubious proposition.

      Think about it. Black families are poorer, with fewer two-parent households. And we’re told by blacks themselves that black street culture often involves drugs and guns.

      Yet you ascribe the incarceration disparity to racism — a wildly unwarranted assumption.

      As has been stated by others on this site, if you’re justified in stating that racism is the reason for the racial disparity in incarceration, then you would have to ascribe the fact that 90 percent of U.S. prisoners are male to sexism.

      A statement that is ridiculous on its face.

      * * *

      “2. Between 2017 and 2020, 1,683 whites were killed in police shootings while 908 African Americans were killed… but when adjusted for their percentage of the population, that means Afrian Americans are roughly 2.4 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police… but it is not racism?”

      Once again, you cannot assume that racism is the cause.

      The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has stated that the schools in predominantly white neighborhoods and predominantly black neighborhoods are “profoundly unequal.”

      And a lack of education has long been known to be associated with criminal behavior.

      So, Bill, unless you can say that the educational experiences of the members of each group are comparable — which we know for sure they’re not — you are not in any way justified in ascribing this disparity to racism.

      In fact, the longest sitting member of the U.S.Civil Rights Commission, Peter Kirsanow, has looked at these questions in great detail and has stated publicly that black suspects who commit serious crimes are actually *less* likely to be killed by police than white suspects. For the very simple reason that young black males commit serious crimes at a higher rate than their white counterparts.

      * * *

      “3. Average black unemployment in 2019 was 6.1% while white unemployment was 3.3%, and mind you that 6.1% was the lowest annual average I could find in statistics going back to 1973, and only in recent years have African American unemployment dipped below twice that of white unemployment (most years before 2010, it was a little higher than twice)…. but it is not racism?”

      No, it is not. Recall that the Civil Rights Commission found the quality of education in black schools and white schools to be “profoundly unequal.”

      And in another comment on this website, I pointed out that three-quarters of young black males in California could not read or write to their appropriate grade level.


      The most important disparities between blacks and whites are in family makeup and education.

      The majority of black children are born into single-parent households.

      And the schools in black neighborhoods are “profoundly” inferior to predominantly white schools.

      These two factors largely account for the other disparities.

      And so the most devastating disparity is actually not racism at all, but the demonstrably destructive policies implemented by the Democratic Party that have held back black families and individuals for generations.

      Bill, racism seems to be the default factor people like you and SDG arrive upon to explain the plights of some minorities in America.

      I suspect that this quirk of illogic is attractive to you because it helps you further a leftist political agenda that appeals to you, as well as allowing you to feel superior to your less sensitive, less enlightened, less tolerant fellow citizens.

  22. Deacon Steven,
    If the Church was a “sacrament” of unity, it would be right to leave it. As it would be a false church. The human species is not a unity, nor is the Church the sacrament of that unity. Quite the contrary. She is a body of diversity united in the Christ. [This of course presupposes unity in Christ. Which is why one must additionally question your inclusion of non-Christians in the “unity.”]
    I am afraid that your homily may only serve to drive others from the Church, as Matthew Rose’s enlightening book, A World after Liberalism, foretells.
    Far from being poisonous, and whatever the origin or causality of the “Great Replacement Theory,” that “theory” appears to be a fact, as is borne out by statistics, and as innumerable Progressive voices have recently crowed. How to combat this, morally, and not to take the lives of innocents, ought to have been the theme of your homily.
    Like have more children perchance? Or take just and prudential actions at the border?
    Most whites I know avoid the subject of racism, for fear of offending others. That is, NOT because they are afraid of facing reality, but because they are afraid their interlocutors are afraid of it. Afraid of offending the interlocutor. Yes, “YOU need to change, if YOU want to be accepted into OUR society.”
    We are not the problem. Do not demand inclusion, and thereafter demand that others change.

    • “Great Replacement theory” does not refer to the observation that demographic shifts are taking place—or the opinion that demographic change is in some way welcome. It refers to the belief that “replacist” elites (often but not always Jews; the use of George Soros as a bogeyman in this connection is often a thinly veiled euphemism for “the Joos”) are engineering the marginalization or even the “genocide” of White people.

      Demographic shifts certainly happening, but there is a lot of unwarranted paranoia about what that looks like and where it’s going. In 2003 a well-known Hollywood conservative told me that by 2020 50% of people under 18 in the Netherlands would be Muslim. It’s 2022 and the Netherlands is 5% Muslim; I don’t have rates on people under 18, but it’s not 50%.

      As for “combatting”: What’s to be “combatted”? Why? Is there a moral reason why a United States in which White people are around 60% of the population (more or less, depending if you count Hispanic Whites) is automatically better than a United States in which non-White people are around 60% of the population? Is there an imperative to ensure that Whites remain the numerical majority and continue to exercise a disproportionate share of political, economic, and cultural power? You know what’s another phrase for “Whites need to stay on top”?

      • Deacon Steven,
        I personally have no opinion as to causation. Only that former Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused of attempting to orchestrate such a thing in Britain.
        “What’s to be ‘combatted’?”
        Whether orchestrated or not, it is neither surprising nor damnable for one to lament the “demographic shift” dispossessing one’s people. The fact that a deacon needs this to be explained, is concerning.
        To be clear, there is nothing morally superior about Whites being a numerical majority in the United States. And there is no moral superiority in me owning my own home either. What is the deacon’s point? I for one do not suggest that the United States is somehow morally superior to anywhere else, certainly not based on demographics.
        “Is there an imperative to ensure that Whites remain the numerical majority and continue to exercise a disproportionate share of political, economic, and cultural power?”
        In order to continue dominating political, economic and cultural power, it is probably necessary to maintain a numerical majority, no? It isn’t “disproportionate” if it’s your country. One does not speak of Japanese “privilege,” if one is in Japan.
        “You know what’s another phrase for ‘Whites need to stay on top’”?
        Does the deacon mean, White supremacy? If that is all that it means, what makes white supremacy morally inferior to multi-racialism? Answer: Nothing.
        And if that is all it means, count me in.
        If the deacon is truly concerned about saving lives, he should illuminate a path of peaceful means to prevent replacement. Not double down on suppressing protest.
        In sum, the shooter’s means were criminal, immoral, and unimaginable. His motive absolutely was not.

        • “Saving lives”? I’m sorry, where are the White people being executed? I must have missed that. Who precisely is being “depossessed”? I remember learning about when the homes of German Jews were taken away from them and given to Germans. Is that happening to White people? Please tell me more.

          “It isn’t ‘disproportionate’ if it’s your country.” Oh. And America is “our country”? “Ours,” who? White people? That’s what you’re saying? America is a White country, but we will graciously allow Black people and other people of color to live in our country, but only as minorities, and only if they don’t get too uppity?

          So you support the Buffalo shooter’s goals of White supremacy. Thank you for making that clear for everyone reading this.

          • Dear Deacon Stevens,
            “‘Saving lives’? I’m sorry, where are the White people being executed?”
            Don’t be cute. Saving lives. As in minority lives, Deacon Stevens. As in, many are not going to put up with this too much longer. And then they will unfortunately take justice into their own hands. Just watch. If you care.
            “Oh. And America is ‘our country’? ‘Ours,’ who? White people? That’s what you’re saying?”
            Are you saying that America is NOT a White country??? Really?
            “America is a White country, but we will graciously allow [b]lack people and other [colored people] to live in our country, but only as minorities, and only if they don’t get too uppity?”
            Ummm… why, yes. Yes. That is exactly what I mean, after a fashion.
            Go ahead. Keep on poking the anger. And pat yourself on the back for your holiness.
            If blacks do not care for equal (not favored or retributive) treatment… well, they can certainly have EXACTLY what came before. [I don’t presume you can speak for them.] Don’t like Civil Rights? Want to give them back? Fine. Only too happy to oblige.
            But of course one should not punish a person, for the sins of others. As in yourself, Deacon Stevens.
            “So you support the Buffalo shooter’s goals of White supremacy. Thank you for making that clear for everyone reading this.”
            I do. And thanks be to God, I am not alone.

  23. For any Catholic man who may be interested, a new opportunity has arisen in Orange County, CA. The first Knights of Peter Claver presence was established: Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman Council No. 406. If this does interest, one does not need to live in Orange County; we have Knights who are quite distant in The 406.

    For what it’s worth, the racial and ethnic composition of our Council is diverse. Please see a story about us at Black Catholic Messenger, here: https://www.blackcatholicmessenger.com/oc-kpc-council-established/

    I might add that the Ladies Auxiliary is forming and we are gathering youth for the Junior Knights and Daughters. If you’re Catholic, you’re invited. Ping me.

  24. Why Steve, you thought you were clever, but I’m onto you. You’ve hired people to pose as critics, but their obvious purpose was to prove every one of your points.

    • Charlotte,
      I think you’re on to something. Certainly, nothing the deacon has stated is questionable or wrong-headed or counter-productive.

      • I don’t have to convince you, Robert. I just have to show other people reading these comments that I‘m not exaggerating when I say that literal White supremacy is an ongoing problem in the Church. Most people, even conservatives and trads who disagree with me about racism, are not on your side in endorsing White supremacy, and you are not helping their case. So, again, thank you for your clarity.

        • I recognize that you do not have to convince me, nor are you necessarily trying to do so.
          Rather, I was trying to convince YOU that seeking to suppress the values of others (or calling on them to self-reflect on their moral failings, as I suspect you would characterize it) is counter-productive for peace. I was trying to convince you that in this context, you are part of the problem, not the one offering solutions. If that person in Buffalo had had a way to express and defend his motivations without resorting to violence, maybe those innocents would still be alive. In this, we as a society and Church have failed them.
          Just as bashing on Islam after an Islamic terrorist attack, even if the latter could somehow be traced to the former, is counter-productive.
          I think you are incorrect regarding on how many are on “my side.” I am certain that the number is quite large. But of course I could be wrong.
          They just would not define it as white supremacy. And neither would I (that was your choice), but that would simply be a semantic debate I suppose. It is not, to my mind, necessary to denigrate people or treat them unequally (which is how I generally would characterize white supremacy), for a country to maintain its national character–which is what quite a few people want–even if it might be necessary to preserve the country’s general demographics.
          Pax vobiscum.

        • White supremacy in 2022 doesn’t make much sense when 7 of the 8 wealthiest ethnic groups are POC. We can acknowledge past harm caused by violence and racism and work to improve those conditions while still acknowledging the fact east Asians, Jews, Nigerians, and Indians, among others are all outperforming whites.

  25. Many, many thanks to quite a few commenters who have very thoughtfully and truthfully pointed out the serious flaws in the article author’s “collective white guilt” declarations that look like they came from a Robin DiAngelo seminar wherein objective facts are considered a form of white oppression that must give way to the false narrative of ongoing systemic racism perpetrated by white Americans against blacks and other minorities even if the whites don’t know they are “guilty,” and if white people don’t accept the narrative because it is not supported by facts, this is more “proof” of “white inherent racism.” Alas, as the author himself remarks, “when people really don’t want to hear something, they’re not going to hear it…”, but of course he doesn’t include himself in this condemnation even though his refusal to deal with objective facts makes him a card-carrying member of all those people who “really don’t want to hear something” that gives the lie to their bogus narrative.

    Now, instead of me also going into a lengthy refutation of the unfounded declarations set forth by the article author, I will now provide a list of many excellent sources that present compelling narratives backed by facts which unequivocally demonstrate why the author is basically guilty of making false accusations and wrongly stereotyping too many white people in the process.

    First, a website known as PragerU (aka Prager University) provides many insightful, fact-supported videos of differing lengths, but here I recommend the following “5-minute” videos presented by a variety of people of different races:

    “What I Can Teach You About Racism” by Dr. Carol Swain
    “Is America Racist?” by Larry Elder
    “Are the Police Racist?” by Heather MacDonald
    “Black Fathers Matter” by Larry Elder
    “How to End Systemic Racism” by Amala Ekpunobi
    “Who are the Racists?” by Derryck Green
    “The Ferguson Lie” by Larry Elder
    “Police Go Where the Crime Is” by Heather MacDonald
    “A Short History of Slavery” by Candace Owens
    “Are Some Cultures Better Than Others? by Dinesh D’Souza
    “What Happened in Charlottesville?” by Steve Cortes
    “The Media’s Very Fine People Myth” – PragerU Short Clip (~2 minutes)

    For those of you who have the time, check any or all of the following books (among others):

    “Race Marxism” by James Lindsay
    “America’s Discrimination Circus” by Kathleen Brush
    “The War On Cops” by Heather MacDonald
    “The War On the West” by Douglas Murray
    “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” by Thomas Sowell

    Warning: All of the videos and books set forth above contain many claims and declarations that are supported by objective facts. They are not supported by silly opinion surveys that ignore facts, nor by made-up narratives, and not by bogus history.

    As always, it is Only The Truth That Sets Us Free.

    • PragerU. Ah haha.

      Just one word of rebuttal: There is no such thing as “collective White guilt,” or of any kind of “collective guilt” or “White guilt.” Guilt is strictly individual and related to one’s own actions, not one’s socially constructed racial identity. The Catechism does teach us there is such a thing as “social sin,” but that term is used by analogy; “social sin” is not sin in the strict sense, though it is the product of many sins and it does dispose people toward sins.

      • So, white guilt isn’t real, but white privilege is? Makes sense. I’ll pass along the good news to the fine people of Youngstown, Ohio.

      • Hello again Deacon Greydanus. I hate to sound blunt, but if you think there is no move to make for ‘collective white guilt’ then you aren’t paying attention to all the assumptions behind the narratives you seem to be supporting.

        For instance, in the wake of 2020, my wife – who works for a major international financial institution – was called upon, along with all the white employees in her department, to attend a mandatory video call and ‘apologize’ for one aspect of privilege they had for being white. The worst part? When I mentioned this online I found out others in other companies had seen similar, if not that flagrant.

        That’s just one instance. My sons in college have had to take mandatory DIE training, and in those it is made clear that they are as guilty for tragedies like the Buffalo shooting, slavery, the Trail of Tears, or any such events as if they had been there themselves. Just the whole idea of ‘white privilege’ is judging and apply a form of ‘guilty’ based on skin color. So yeah, it’s not just happening, but is happening with the authority of proper institutions.

        Oh, in case you’re wondering, my wife got off the hook in her meeting when her immediate supervisor – a Catholic – took it upon himself to apologize on behalf of the white employees in the department, so individually they didn’t have to (though some happily did).

      • Let me guess. You deride PragerU simply because it is a site with a conservative orientation. It seems to me you are not so much interested in posting an opinion essay as you are in having an argument, given the number of subsequent responses you felt the need to post. Believe it or not, people in the US are entitled to their own opinion. ( At least, for now). And their opinion is NOT “wrong” or uninformed or sadly benighted because it conflicts with yours. Quite certainly everyone on this site would agree that slavery was wrong and did harm. But slavery has been dead for 150 years, and many of us feel it is quite a stretch to imagine it impacts people today in any meaningful way. Individual choices carry their own consequences. The country has done a massive job for DECADES in trying to “even things out”, by enacting social welfare programs, educational advantages, hiring quotas, and name your poison, for generations at this point. A lot of us feel enough is enough and are not also going to shoulder further blame and burden, nor allow our children to be enmeshed in this partisan garbage by being force fed CRT in kindergarten. You talk about the church having a point of view about “social sins”. If you yourself do not believe in collective white guilt, you do a good job of sounding as though you do. In my opinion, all sin is personal. I cant think of a single occupation where I have not seen a black employee, from private industry to govt jobs. I cant think of a single place where they cannot own a home, providing they have the cash to make the purchase like everyone else, and the laws all support that reality. Most colleges have quotas to insure that minorities are admitted in sufficient numbers. This to the degree that it has been found that white applicants are now lying about their heritage in order to take advantage of this edge.It is in fact a disadvantage to be white now in some realms, if competing against a minority applicant. So really, whats the whine? I wonder how effective you can be as a deacon if you view your white congregants with such open disdain? When you say “particularly WHITE people”,or suggest white people are ok with minorities “only if they dont get too uppity” you are putting words in the mouths of others. When you make assumptions about their thoughts and motivations, and paint them as racists when in fact they are not, you say a great deal more than you know about your own mindset. Where I grew up, such behavior towards others counts as a sin, just as much as racism would. Most of us are fair minded people, act accordingly, and are tired of being lectured to and accused of things we have not done. Many, like me, actually have minority family members. We are not “unconsciously” racist, either. Clergy who felt a need to appear on TV and “kneel in solidarity” during the 2020 riots as our cities burned and law abiding people of all colors were threatened and injured, committed a betrayal of the worst sort, and sent the signal that laws and rules do not matter. Or, worse, they are to be selectively enforced. If the church chooses to continue down this liberal bent blame-game road, my prediction is a further loss of members and revenue.

        • Very good points, LJ. I agree with you.

          I too was very disappointed to see Deacon Steve make light of Prager’s website. On what basis does he disdain it? Are its contributors dishonest? Its statements inaccurate?

          If so, I would like to know it.

          He really cannot dismiss it without providing us with a reason for his dismissal.

          If he doesn’t provide such a reason, he’s guilty of the ad hominem fallacy, a key component of groupthink. Deacon Steve is a very bright guy. He has to know that the ad hominem fallacy is a fallacy.

          By contrast, he cited CBS News as a credible source in his comments. I’m sure I could list 20 instances of CBS either running with wildly inaccurate news stories (Hunter Biden laptop being Russian disinfo op, Trump-Russia collusion hoax, Trump’s supposed ‘Find the fraud’ quote, Russia’s bounty on U.S. servicemen, etc.) and/or ignoring news that goes against their narrative (Hillary personally approved Trump-Russia hoax, Ivermectin as virus therapy, Hunter Biden’s China connections, New York’s nursing home virus holocaust, etc.)

          • Brineyman,thank you for the compliment. I have been very distressed at the turn the country has taken in the last decade,and most especially the last 2 years, regarding the rise of leftist partisanship in all aspects of the country.They have been financially floated by some of the bored billionaire class who dabble in authoritarianism to amuse themselves, while providing funds for leftist actions in schools, business, government and society. They are aided by outright foreign Communists like George Soros. Our corporations bow to violent groups like BLM, our military is focused on “white rage” (LOL!Fake news.) and ejecting those who have religious objections to experimental vaccines, rather than focus on how to fight. Our children have been secretly indoctrinated into CRT, a fact only made known thanks to the covid shut down. One hopes the giant is belatedly awakening. The posting you complimented me about is typical of my own conservative thought. I have friends and family of various races and religions and have no issues with anyone. I live my life, you live yours. But for the past 2 years, after opinion posting on various websites for 20 years, I find my thoughts increasingly banned or subjected to “review” before posting. Since my posts contain no racism, curses or inflammatory remarks, I can only conclude that my rather ordinary conservative point of view is unwelcome, period. There was a time in this country when people could have a good discussion, even a mild argument when they did not agree, and still part with respect. Increasingly, the leftists in charge of our institutions have decided that to have a stance different from theirs is “insurrection” and thus in their minds you are justified to be vilified and suppressed.It is a very alarming turn of national events. This is not who we are as Americans. People have become so terrified of being called a racist, they do what they should NOT—they shut up. Well, I am old, and I am retired. I do not bother with Facebook, and I am comfortable in my own company, I do not care what others opinion about me may be. . I therefore have nothing to lose if someone were to try to cancel me. I cannot be cancelled. Nor am I fearful of being called a racist. The removal of the statue of Teddy Roosevelt from in front of the Museum of Natural History in NYC recently told me all I needed to know about those who would destroy our country, our heritage and our freedoms. My family has been here for 400 and fought to build the nation. I apologize for nothing.

      • In the business, coprorate, military, and academic world concepts of white guilt, white privilege, white rage and white fragility are very real. It is not uncommon to hear that Math is racist or that Shakespeare is racist.

  26. Hi Deacon Steven!

    Thanks for bringing these alarming statistics to a large platform and for speaking out on the truth of racism. I wrote the piece for Black Catholic Messenger that features the PRRI poll. Thanks for making apparent what is often swept under the rug in predominantly white media at the expense of comfort. It really puts into perspective how incredibly bad our church is struggling with racism. Please keep showing the fruit of the spirit, and forming peoples’ conscience to the truth of the spirit. Blessings!

    • Briana: Opinion polls with opinions that are not factually based do not count as proof or evidence in favor of anything. For example, according to various polls, many people wrongly believe that the number of unarmed black people killed by police officers on a yearly basis is between 1000 to 2000 per year. Did this make it so? Of course not. The actual numbers were closer to 20 one year, 9 the next and so on, and such shootings were not based on simply hunting down people, plus many involved threats that led to those shootings as well. Check actual stats collected by the Washington Post (obviously not a conservative paper). Unjust shootings are always to be condemned when they are objectively the case, but wildly inflating the numbers in opinion polls should be exposed as flat out wrong instead of being promoted as evidence of racism, etc., as SDG does repeatedly throughout his article. He is not to be praised for presenting an objectively false narrative as he does repeatedly, and unfortunately you are doing the same thing in falsely declaring that SDG’s nonsense “really puts into perspective how incredibly bad our church is struggling with racism.” See my post above that features easily accessible sources which use objective facts to counter the bogus “systemic racism” narrative that is bigoted toward whites and, fundamentally, toward Western civilization in general. The material in these sources also apply to the same kinds of bogus claims made against the Catholic Church.

      Good luck. Always seek objective truth and beware the lack of such things that frequently manifest themselves in opinion polls, surveys, biased studies, and so on.

      • DV: Well-designed opinion polls by reputable pollsters, such as PRRI, are indeed meaningful evidence of one thing: what people think. Even if people are uncomfortable saying what they think and answer with lack of complete candor, it’s still evidence of what they think is acceptable to stay to a pollster.

        So, for example, if over 50% of White Catholics told PRRI pollsters that they believe inequalities between Black and White people are “really just a matter of Black people not trying hard enough, and that if Black people would just try harder, they could be as well off as White people,” well, that’s meaningful evidence of what they really think; at least, it’s hard to imagine why someone who didn’t agree with that statement saying that they did.

        On the other hand, 68% of White people who identify as atheist / agnostic / nothing in particular told PRRI that they disagreed with the statement. Now, it’s possible that they weren’t all being completely honest: maybe some really agreed with the statement but said they didn’t because they didn’t want to sound racist.

        Even so, such a high number is still good evidence that most White people with no religious affiliation disagree with the statement — and even if some of them said they disagreed because they didn’t want to sound racist, it still suggests that White Catholics are a lot more willing to sound racist, or less concerned about not sounding racist, than White people with no religious affiliation, which is a troubling implication in its own right.

        • SDG: Now you are shifting the goalposts which is intellectually dishonest. Indeed, you use extremely limited opinion polls as being sufficiently large enough to represent the thinking of a majority of millions of people (aka hasty generalization fallacy), and you also use them as substitutes for facts instead of using them properly in this case to help correct erroneous thinking when objective facts demonstrate how the polls you cite contain ignorant statements; not people trying to be coy or cute or shy, etc. Expressing erroneous points of view due to ignorance and false narratives with you blithely accepting them as factual is the primary problem with the polls you cite. Can you not be honest even about these things? Why the dishonest spin?

          Remember one of the earliest “opinion polls” connected to the One True Church? “Who do men say that I am?” Too many got it wrong, but Peter got it right and Christ affirmed his accuracy. He didn’t present nonsense by saying something along your way of thinking of ‘if so many people say this, there must be some truth in it.’

          Once again I sincerely challenge you to man up and look at the videos I presented, and honestly engage the statements and facts presented by the serious people in those videos instead of Unjustly dismissing such things out of hand simply because of the site that presents these views (yet another fallacy on your part; guilt by association or ad hominem circumstantial; a form of bigotry). Look, I and others had the guts to read your article and your comments before criticizing you for the numerous errors and unjust accusations you continue to make toward white people in general. Why can’t you man up and engage the people I listed in their short videos, including a majority of them being black people who reject your premises and bigoted narratives, and they do so by citing facts; not just opinion polls?

          • “you use extremely limited opinion polls as being sufficiently large enough to represent the thinking of a majority of millions of people”

            So, are you unfamiliar with PRRI, or are you deliberately slandering their reputable work?

    • Thanks so much for your encouraging comments, Briana.

      For what it’s worth, I had no idea how my homily would be received at my parish. Afterward, I was gratified by the positive feedback I got from a number of Black parishioners and also some White parishioners. I’m sure there will be complaints too, but I haven’t heard them yet!

  27. Before we can fight racism we need to agree on an objective definition of the word “racism”. For many on the left, it does not mean prejudice based on race, ethnicity, skin color or national origin; to them, it is used as a slur against anyone who refuses to accept leftist talking points. And it is also used as cover for overt racism by leftists (such as the notorious Julius Malema in my native South Africa, who routinely plays the race card against his critics despite himself spewing the most vile racist and antisemitic comments against non-blacks, to the point of inciting violence and murder).

    This results in polarization and any attempts to remedy or even discuss genuine racism, such as the horrific incident where a white student at Stellenbosch University recently urinated on the desk and laptop of a black student, are either rejected out of hand or quickly degenerates into shouting matches and flinging of insults between different political camps.

    As long as the term “racist” remains a political football and there is more to gain from stoking enmity than actual reconciliation, actual racism (not the fake leftist definition thereof) will continue.

    • Johann, to read my reply to another commenter who asked for my definition of racism, please search the contents of this webpage for the word “definition.” 

  28. Collective guilt can be achieved by deception, as when South Vietnam Buddhist Bongs self immolated in protest to alleged persecution by Catholic Ngo Dihn Diem. America’s media portrayed the Diem regime as oppressive to Buddhists inciting Pres Kennedy, many in the US to assume a collective guilt for supporting the S Vietnam govt. The United States indicated its disapproval of Diem’s administration when ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge intervened. Cabot Lodge was involved in a coup that ended in the assassination of Diem. That event devolved into the Vietnam War. Following Diem’s assassination the NYT published an article in its back pages that a UN investigation team reported that there was no evidence that the Diem administration persecuted Buddhists.
    What is happening in America today is a falsely inspired collective guilt among Caucasians for responsibility of the Black dilemma called systemic racism. Many ‘whites’ believe it’s necessary to make financial reparation, a large segment of the Dem Party promote this concept. What this does is remove the responsibility of Blacks to make the effort to advance, instead the effect is a belief that the Nation owes them. That, similar to Black Lives Matter, they believe they have a right to assault Caucasians, burn businesses, steal at random. This self defeating scenario injuring our Nation is supported, at times unwittingly by those who perceive it all comes down to White prejudice and White responsibility.

    • The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that patterns of sinful behavior by people working together can create “social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness,” known in an analogous sense as “social sin.”

      1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
      – by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
      – by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
      – by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
      – by protecting evil-doers.

      1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. “Structures of sin” are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a “social sin.”

      The USCCB pastoral letter Open Wide Our Hearts explains how this principle applies to “social situations and institutions” brought about by centuries of legally and culturally enforced White supremacy:

      Racism can also be institutional, when practices or traditions are upheld that treat certain groups of people unjustly. The cumulative effects of personal sins of racism have led to social structures of injustice and violence that makes us all accomplices in racism.

      Note that this does not entail the red herring of “falsely inspired collective guilt among Caucasians.” There is no such thing as “collective guilt,” or for that matter of “social sin” in the strict sense of sin. Sin strictly speaking is personal and individual; we speak of “social sin” only in an analogical sense. But the social effects of sin are real and enduring. It is a real thing, and pretending that it doesn’t exist is complicity and cooperation in injustice.

      • Deacon there’s sin due to willful prejudice, an injustice. There’s sin in attributing injustice to persons who are innocent of the allegation of white supremacy. And there’s the sin of slander when you impute a “pretension that prejudice doesn’t exist” to someone as “complicity and cooperation in injustice”.

        • I haven’t attributed or imputed any offense to anyone, Father. And, since you’ve misquoted me rather grotesquely, I’ll leave you to sort our your own injustices to me. Grace and peace.

          • Deacon Greydanus, I say this for your good, not evil. That you own up to criticism of those who disagree with you. I and most who commented agree there is bias against Blacks, though not to the extent and manner that you impute. To put your words in canonical context,
            “The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes [2477] that a person is guilty of calumny if he, ‘by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.’ The person who engages in calumny does not even have to specify an untruth about another; all he has to do is place doubts about that person in the minds of others” (Fr John A Hardon SJ).
            My prayers remain on your behalf.

          • Father: You accused me of imputing a “pretension that prejudice doesn’t exist.” I did not. Never happened. Not in those words. Not in any other words. I have not accused anyone of denying that prejudice exists, as you wrongly claimed. You made that up, or you misread me. I think you misread me, and I’m pretty sure I know how, but it’t not my job to explain that to you. You are an educated man. Do better. I say this for your own good.

      • If I misread you I apologize. Nevertheless, the social effects of analogical sin you say are real, although those who might perpetrate this [or do not] don’t sin. On what logical basis must I acknowledge that the real effects of such an analogical sin must be recognized, for if I don’t I’m complicit in an injustice. This is my point, Deacon Greydanus. For example, if one is not morally responsible for the “effects”, how then does that impute an injustice for not acknowledging it as an analogical social sin? That’s because there may be multiple reasons why social inequities exist. Some for which those who suffer the effects may be responsible. Some are entirely accidental. To in any way link that to a White supremacy theory doesn’t follow. Although we are obliged to recognize harmful, perhaps unjust inequity and if within our means address it. And keep in mind there can never reasonably be absolute social equanimity. And furthermore, not every absence of equality is an evil.

        • Thank you, Father. I appreciate and accept your apology (although I feel obliged to point out that “If I misread you” is weasel language, and that, having realized one’s clear mistake, one ought to apologize without qualification).

          I also appreciate your acknowledgement that “we are obliged to recognize harmful, perhaps unjust inequity and if within our means address it,” which is, I think, sufficient answer to your own question “if one is not morally responsible for the ‘effects’, how then does that impute an injustice for not acknowledging it as an analogical social sin?”

          It should be obvious, for example, that, while keeping and using human beings as slaves is a direct moral evil, the legality of slavery at the time of the Civil War was an institutional or structural effect of a great sins committed over centuries, for which no one person living at that time bore direct moral responsibility. The Abolitionists, who were not personally morally responsible for this disordered state of affairs (the legality of slavery), nevertheless recognized that to fail to acknowledge this reality and the evil of the injustices that followed from it would certainly be a form of complicity and cooperation.

          This is an extreme example of what I meant when I said that pretending that the real and enduring social effects of sin don’t exist is complicity and cooperation in injustice. The context for my remark was the sentence quoted from Open Wide Our Hearts which says that the “cumulative effects of personal sins of racism have led to social structures of injustice and violence that makes us all accomplices in racism.” I take it that, just as social sin is not literal, moral sin, Open Wide Our Hearts does not mean that each one of us is literally, morally an accomplice in racism. Rather, it means that we are all affected by systems that result in unjust outcomes, and that, as you say, we have an obligation to learn to recognize and, to the extent possible, oppose those systems.

        • Americans [the vast majority] acknowledge the deleterious effects of slavery on Blacks, the centuries of injustice that prompted Govt programs to compensate. Your argument has benign intent. Although it has an adverse beneficial effect for Blacks by perpetuating victimization belief among them retarding their advancement; promotion of a false, self inflicted guilt on Whites, and the canard that all that is detrimental among Blacks is entirely the outcome of slavery and oppression.

  29. To the editor of CWR: With the additions of Dn. Greydanus and Larry Chapp, you are making it nearly impossible for me to continue supporting this publication. I sure miss the quality of Fr. Schall’s contributions and yours, Carl. This homily would have had me fuming in the pew. As with too many people today, Dn. Greydanus conflates all manner of prejudices and injustices to the simplistic notion that “white people’s” racism is the cause of much evil. Actually, the prejudices often masquerade as racism because that is the easiest way for people to explain the hate and anger they feel to themselves. Shame on Dn. Greydanus for using his position as an ordained minister to sow conflict and division in his parish and among the readers of this magazine. I’ll be taking a break from all the superficial diagnoses on offer from contributors to CWR.

    • Delivering this load of manure at Mass was a grave abuse. I have endured enough of such tendentious junk myself over the years and have resolved to walk out if I hear it again. These days it seems like the most objectionable inanities are uttered in the Prayers of the Faithful. I suspect at least some of them are coming directly from the Diocese.

      I don’t necessarily object to this nonsense being posted here since the commenters shredded it to pieces six times over. SDG’s thesis cannot survive even the barest scrutiny. It is good to be exposed to opposing points of view if only to help sharpen your own debating skills. This one wasn’t, alas, much of a challenge.

  30. Dear Deacon Greydanus, Thank you for youe truly Catholic homily and also for your exquisite patience in replying to the various comments posted here. St. John of the Cross said that “patience is the sign of the apostle” and you truly show that sign. God bless you and keep up the good work!

  31. Here are some FBI statistics that I culled online. They resemble the data provided in various forums by.the U.S.Civil Rights Commission.

    They tell a story that is very different from the systemic racism claims made by Deacon Steve.

    In 2019, police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous.

    African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops in 2020 (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015.

    That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects.

    In 2018, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and committed about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

    The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015.

    “Unarmed” is defined broadly by the Post to include such cases as a suspect who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase.

    In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019.

    By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

    You can see why crying “R-A-A-A-A-A-C-I-S-S-S-S-S!” may not be warranted when faced with seemingly disproportionate comparisons between black and white crime data.

  32. Steve, in the United States you can legally discriminate against whites and Asians in hiring, promotions and college admissions. This seems to go counter to your claim that there is “systemic racism” (or at least of the kind you imagine.

    I wonder what your explanation is for the high crime of blacks. I believe you’ve said poverty but there is a only a small correlation between poverty and crime and the children of wealthy black parents commit crime at a higher rate than the children of poor whites.

  33. Thanks to DV for the suggested booklist. The most important title there IMHO is Black Fathers Matter by Larry Elder. White fathers matter too BTW. Brown fathers too. All fathers matter. Why did we forget that?
    As for this article, I’m done with the smears against conservatives of any hue.

    • You are most welcome, Gilberta, but just to be clear, the first listing is of very short yet insightful videos you can watch for free online in about an hour for all of them. Please share these treasures with others. The second listing is of important books, and the shortest among them that is filled with documented data is the one by Kathleen Brush that was published just last year. There are quite a few grammatical typos in the book (poor editing), but Brush is a researching machine who is also a moderate liberal (e.g., she holds opinions on “transgenderism,” etc. that are not supported by the Church and are definitely in tune with more leftist ideology), but she provides facts upon facts and objective data that completely obliterate the kinds of claims made by Comrade Greydanus and others of a similar mindset. Note the following from the introduction to her book pertaining to the topic of “White guilt”:

      “Poverty pimps and race hustlers have done a grave disservice to Americans of all colors. Blacks suffer the most because many have come to believe they are victims of white oppression. White guilt encourages this. According to the US Census, just 1.25% of Americans in 1860 held slaves, but many whites have come to feel guilty about slavery. Only in America could people in the 21st century be made to feel personally guilty for slavery that was abolished in the 19th century, and for systemic racism that was obliterated in the mid-20th century. People feeling guilty about people they didn’t know, things they had nothing to do with and never would have supported. Things America has diligently corrected and has done so in a manner unique in the world.

      There is no country that has provided more opportunities for minority groups or has strived harder to deliver equality of opportunity. America had systemic racism in the past, but it is no more. The United States has created an enduring anti-racist nation that Americans can take pride in. There is nothing to feel guilty about and nothing to be on the hook for.” (From “America’s Discrimination Circus,” P. 10)

      Also note that Dcn Greydanus unjustly dismissed the list of short videos because he is biased against the organization (PragerU) that produced them even though you can also find them on YouTube. You see, the videos feature intelligent black people that do not accept the systemic racism hoax, and so the pusillanimous deacon refuses to respect these people by honestly engaging them. Classic bigotry toward blacks who don’t bow down to their modern day plantation overlords.

      So enjoy as much of the material as you like, and again, pass it on to others so they can also be enlightened and not fall for the unjust claptrap pushed by the deacon.

      • Thanks, DV, for your work opposing not only the dim-witted nonsense but also the attitude dripping from the pugilistic OP and comments. Methinks the deacon doth protest overmuch. He accuses with scant and biased evidence, then bangs a clanging cymbal to obstinately peddle his personally misguided beliefs as if they were ‘de fide’.

        This remark by Brush points to ‘white guilt’– Moral theologians would point to misguided guilt accusing self or others of societal sins rather than acknowledge and repent of personal sins one would rather keep safely stashed for future secret repeated unrepented indulgence. For instance, some people love their pets, feeding them fresh gourmet foods, while viewing contraceptive use or abortion as necessary indiscretion. Misplaced guilt will out sooner or later. Lady Macbeth obsessed the stains on her hands. Modern Catholic unrepentant sinners assuage guilt in other false ways; i.e., “YOU! IT’S YOUR FAULT SOME ARE POOR, IN PRISON AND WITH BLACK SKIN.”

        “According to the US Census, just 1.25% of Americans in 1860 held slaves, but many whites have come to feel guilty about slavery. Only in America could people in the 21st century be made to feel personally guilty for slavery that was abolished in the 19th century, and for systemic racism that was obliterated in the mid-20th century.”

        Don’tcha’ just wanta’ vomit out the stench from unrepented mortal sins covering themselves with woke white cloaks?

        • Thanks for the kind remarks, culture warrior meiron. Indeed there are none so thoroughly unawake as those who proudly profess to be woke.

          God Bless!

  34. When blacks kill whites and say it is because of race Deacon Steve can’t discern the motive and doesn’t see any relevancy to church teaching.

  35. Two things can be true at once: (1) Black people currently have less wealth, etc, than whites due to PAST oppression/ethnic conflict, but (2) positive discrimination in favor of “POC” (affirmative action, set-asides) is fairly common today.

  36. Kudos once again to the many fine people commenting on this article who have helped expose the unjust narratives presented by Dcn. Greydanus in his article, as well as his many disingenuous responses to those who have pointed out the objective errors of his declarations and narratives. Thanks, too, to Carl, for allowing the “debate” to continue since it is indeed an important one regarding not just the Catholic Church, but Western Civilization as a whole and those people who seek to undermine it in a variety of ways, including the favored tactic of hurling the poisonous charge of racism toward a majority of white people without any evidence to support the charge.

    In an earlier post/comment, I set forth a list of excellent short videos and some books that address the issue of racism with facts and data that clearly demonstrate why the narrative of ongoing systemic racism is pure balderdash, and that those who push this narrative are simply wrong-headed holier-than-thou scolds who pompously believe they are doing the rest of us a favor by insisting (again without any factual support to back up their false claims) that most whites are racists, and that we as whites need to come to grips with our (falsely alleged) sinfulness in this regard.

    I will now provide just a few more recommended resources to help all who may be interested in increasing their knowledge and wisdom to better arm themselves in the combat against those particular principalities and powers who are intent on destroying our Western Civilization culture.

    Insightful Free Websites:

    New Discourses
    City Journal
    Front Page

    A Few More Very Helpful Books:

    “The Enemy Within: How a Totalitarian Movement is Destroying America” by David Horowitz
    “Racism and Anti-Racism in the World: Before and After 1945” by Kathleen Brush
    “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era” by Shelby Steele
    “The Diversity Delusion” by Heather MacDonald

    And speaking of Heather MacDonald again, she has indeed been at the forefront of exposing many of the lies and false narratives of the Left over the past 10 to 15 years, and she also provides objective data that demonstrates the real problems confronting too many black people. Hint: It is not systemic or any other kind of racism that Dcn. Greydanus and his fellow travelers attempt to gaslight many people into believing. In a June 2020 article entitled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism,” MacDonald provides the following compelling evidence that people who are not of good will claim is itself biased, distractions from the so-called “real problem of racism,” or they simply refuse to honestly confront the facts she provides, but as good Catholics interested in objective truth, such facts need to be promoted as often as possible to counter the flat out lies of the gaslighters:

    “This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.

    In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

    The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

    …Police shootings are not the reason that blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined; criminal violence is.

    The latest in a series of studies undercutting the claim of systemic police bias was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will be fatally shot by a police officer. There is “no significant evidence of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,” they concluded.

    A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police.

    The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of officers during the Obama presidency. The pattern may be repeating itself. Officers are being assaulted and shot at while they try to arrest gun suspects or respond to the growing riots. Police precincts and courthouses have been destroyed with impunity, which will encourage more civilization-destroying violence. If the Ferguson effect of officers backing off law enforcement in minority neighborhoods is reborn as the Minneapolis effect, the thousands of law-abiding African-Americans who depend on the police for basic safety will once again be the victims.”

    Battle On Catholic Culture Warriors!

  37. Great work Deacon Steven. I’m floored you had the energy to engage the nonsense in the combox. Thanks for your dedication to the Church and your attention to such an important subject.

  38. Lost in all this is that POOR whites – which could be roughly defined as the population unable to receive either affirmative action or legacy benefits – may be the most disadvantaged group in the USA.

    Google “50 poorest US counties” sometime. I challenge you, Deacon, to expand where you think change needs to be made. Poor white people don’t have affirmative action or legacy benefits that demonstrably offer substantial advantages in admissions,academics, and in the vast majority of job hiring and career opportunities. Poor whites have fentanyl overdoses and maybe a factory in town, but that will be leaving soon.

  39. It makes literally no sense to argue that the usa is a white supremacist country in 2022 given that the most successful people here today are Asians, Nigerians, and Jews of all colors. Yes, PAST racism AND VIOLENCE accounts for why Black’s are poorer today, but we can work to remedy the harms of the
    Past while acknowledging this fact. Literally 7 out of the 8 most successful ethnic groups are POC. IF THAT IS SYSTEMIC RACISM IN 2022, RIGHT NOW, THE USA IS DOING A VERY POOR JOB AT IT.

  40. I am so tired of the left’s pulling out the white supremacy card whenever it’s convenient. Doesn’t seem to work in the latest Texas tragedy. So we get the other card.
    I don’t see too much thinking about family and community breakdown as contributing factors.

  41. The Waukesha man who slaughtered 6 and injured 52 was a black supremacist who left a lengthy online trail of virulent anti- white hate. He wrote of his desire to kill white people. Frank James, the NYC subway shooter had a long history of spewing anti-white hate. https://nypost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/nypost.com/2022/04/13/suspect-frank-james-was-spewing-racist-hate-well-before-brooklyn-shooting/amp/?amp_gsa=1&amp_js_v=a9&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16535669938985&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fnypost.com%2F2022%2F04%2F13%2Fsuspect-frank-james-was-spewing-racist-hate-well-before-brooklyn-shooting%2F
    The wave of anti-Asian racist hate crimes- murder, assaults and batteries are perpetrated predominantly by POC. It is curious to me that Deacon did not include these racist crimes in his analysis. His claim that he did not discern a motive for the Wakuesha killer is ignorant and pathetic.

  42. The problem with the claim Black fatherlessness is due to slavery is that (a) out-of-wedlock birth rates were below 10-11% for ALL groups until recently (Williams 2012), and then (b) surged by nearly 1,000% during the welfare era.

    WHITE OOW rates went from 3% to 35-40%. Wilfred Reilly.

  43. Deacon Steve,

    I agree with you to a degree. I believe that roughly half our country is involved in perpetuating a racist system.

    And I think we should talk about that group paying reparations to African-Americans who are suffering the consequences of that group’s racism.

    I’m talking, of course, about the Democratic Party. Let me explain.

    Democrats have been responsible for 200 years of the rankest, ugliest, most reprehensible racism and racial exploitation imaginable.

    It’s not even debatable.

    As Wikipedia states, “The modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world’s oldest active political party.”

    Andrew Jackson is one of the presidents whom today’s woke Democrats most vilify because of his views on slavery and the lndian wars. Andrew Jackson was, at least as much as the rest of us, a man of his time.

    So, according to the standards put forth by today’s ultra-woke Democrats, the Democratic Party was founded by racists to promote a racist candidate. Since that time — 30 years before the Civil War — Democrats have unquestionably been the most impassioned advocates of racial injustice throughout the whole of US history.

    Opposing reconstruction; sabotaging blacks’ efforts to vote; writing, passing and supporting Jim Crow laws; segregating hotels, public spaces, public transportation, schools and the armed services — even promoting ways to prevent African-Americans from having children — the Democrats’ record of race hate is undeniable, indisputable.

    The first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan was ex-Confederate General, Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was notorious for the Fort Pillow Massacre in which at the end of the Civil War his men murdered scores of Union soldiers — most of them black — after they had laid down their arms and surrendered.

    While still serving as the KKK’s Grand Wizard, Forrest attended the Democratic convention of 1868, which saw his friend, Frank Blair, Jr., nominated for Vice President. The Democratic ticket’s campaign slogan that year was, “Our Ticket, Our Motto, This Is a White Man’s Country; Let White Men Rule”.


    And in 1964, the Senate Civil Rights bill received 43 of 46 Republican votes (93 percent), and 29 of 49 Democratic votes (59 percent). Many Democratic senators hailed from southern states, where Jim Crow was still enforced, and they continued to resist any and all moves toward racial justice.

    Today’s Democrats, far from repenting their two-century record of racial oppression, continue to promote abortion, the very tool that racist Margaret Sanger used to limit the population of black Americans whom she viewed as “unfit,” “human weeds,” “reckless breeders” who were “spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

    It is hardly a coincidence that Planned Parenthood’s abortion abattoirs are still sited to an inordinate degree in minority neighborhoods.

    And so it would not seem at all unreasonable to peg the Democrats’ reparations bill at, say, $1,000 per present-day African-American. The Democrats themselves, who are deeply concerned about racial justice, would probably strenuously object to such a low amount, considering the number of generations of Americans who have been oppressed by their party. They might even be insulted that the number is so low.

    And they would have a point. So let’s leave the total amount owed by the Democrats undetermined and view the $1,000 per black American as the first tranche in an ongoing racial justice reparations package.

    Which would mean that Democratic Party’s first reparations installment would come to some $48 billion.

    A tidy sum, certainly. But no doubt one that the party’s extremely woke tech and Wall Street oligarchs would be more than happy to raise in order to offset their manifest collective guilt.

    We’ll call it a beginning.

    Then, once the Democrats ante up that sum, I will be happy to discuss my own liability as a midwesterner whose ancestors didn’t come to these shores until decades after the Civil War.

  44. Deacon, your polling regarding reverse discrimination is already outdated. One response to the Floyd murder was a massive surge in demand for workplace racial-sensitivity training, some of which was clumsy and some of which was simply ludicrous. Some anti-racism trainings defined white supremacy to include “written communication,” “a sense of urgency,” “scientific, linear thinking,” “planning for the future,” and other habits of any viable organization. It is racist garbage. It is common for students and workers to apologize for their “white privilege” while refusing to do is evidence of their “white supremacy”. Students are separated based on their skin color in groups of “oppressors” and “oppressed”. “Whiteness” is openly derided as evil on mainstream media and news outlets. Today, as a professor I could be fired for teaching Huckleberry Finn.

    Please don’t tell me your polling is reflective of the current state of demonization of white people.

    In terms of inter-racial violent crimes, these crimes only account for 3 percent of all violent crime and they are nearly 80 black on white.

    Again, Google the 50 poorest counties in the USA. The most abandoned group in the country may be poor whites- they have no affirmative action, set asides, or legacy advantages. There are no calls for justice for them.

  45. Every group on earth has been enslaved and mistreated. The Jews were sent to ghettos, pogramed and sent to gas chambers. The persecution of Jews is used as an explanation of their success. Has anyone done a follow up on the descendants of Russian serfs?

    What’s the mechanism by which past injustices against blacks are responsible for their problems today?

      • Steve, I believe the high IQ of Ashkenazi Jews has a genetic component. Am I racist?

        I believe the high rate of mental retardation of males versus females has a genetic component. Am I a sexist?

        I bet you’ll never answer these questions

  46. the centuries of injustice that prompted Govt programs to compensate

    Not nearly as much as decades of racist HOLC/FHA/VA loan policies from the 1930s to the 1960s did to build up the White middle class and create officially or unofficially segregated neighborhoods while systematically excluding Blacks and denying government services to Black communities did to deepen the disadvantages Black Americans face, Father.

    Black communities are still disproportionately affected by concentrated urban poverty, which was significantly engineered by mid–20th century institutional racism. They are disproportionately policed, for example, resulting in Blacks being 3 to 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use despite roughly equal usage by Whites. The greater likelihood of being arrested for similar offenses — and, if arrested, charged, and, if charged, convicted, and, if convicted, heavily sentenced, and, if sentenced, denied parole — significantly contributes to “absent Black fathers” (the White man who also used marijuana being significantly more likely to remain free to support his family).

    Even after he gets out of prison, his chances of getting a job are worse than a similarly qualified White man with a similar conviction. In fact, more than one study has found that even companies with “progressive” hiring policies prefer to hire White candidates to similarly qualified Black candidates, even if the White man has a criminal record and the Black man doesn’t.

    I’m just scratching the surface. Black people today continue to suffer socially imposed disadvantages relative to White people. Our Black Catholic brothers and sisters overwhelmingly attest to this. But so many White Catholics aren’t willing to hear them.

    • “So many white Catholics aren’t willing to hear them” is yet another false conclusion by you. The white Catholics you libel do hear them, but as defenders and practitioners of objective truth, they rightly reject their narratives (and yours) that are exceedingly false for the most part. Moreover, you continue to obtusely cite opinions as facts, and every now again you also throw in a few bogus and/or irrelevant facts (without citations for the most part, which begs the question: hiding something?) that are not true or no longer apply in order to make ongoing false claims about how things allegedly are today that is simply not the case.

      Alas, you have definitely imbibed the false narratives Kool-Aid that are actually quite harmful toward blacks that you repeatedly diminish as human beings by only seeing them (wrongly) as victims of whites acting en masse to harm them.

      On the other hand, so many honest blacks tell a much different narrative than your dishonest one, and their narratives are also based on objective facts and data and current realities that can and does help all blacks, BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO HEAR THEM, so you do get credit for one thing: blatant hypocrisy.

      By the bye, do you also accept the primary premises and conclusions of the factually absent document/narrative known as the 1619 Project? Just askin’.

    • “Black people today continue to suffer socially imposed disadvantages relative to White people.”

      Not compared to the poor whites I see and help in the mountains of Appalachia. You could easily write a book about the obstacles, drug deaths,
      domestic violence, poverty, incest, and injustices they face. So many are either homeless or live in trailers and shacks you would never accept for yourself or your family. You sir, need to learn some humility.

      • John, it’s 100% true that poor rural Whites are victims not only of circumstance but also of society. My homily is about racism, but classism is a thing too, and one that poor Whites experience regularly. For poor Blacks, they overlap in ways that are nearly inextricable. But the rural poor today have almost no one advocating for them, which is in some ways even worse.

        As devastating as any sort of poverty is, it’s worth noting that concentrated urban poverty is especially pernicious in its link to poor social outcomes, including criminal activity. In fact, White people living in concentrated urban poverty suffer outcomes in many ways statistically indistinguishable from Black people.

        Let’s remember, too, that, at the end of the day, even a poor White person can have an easier time hailing a cab on a city street than a middle-class Black person, or driving through a middle-class neighborhood without getting pulled over for driving while Black, or walking through a store without being followed by security for his skin color. That’s not to deny or minimize, once again, all the disadvantages that poor White people do experience, or the extent to which society devalues and disregards them.

        So racism, including systemic and structural racism, is not the only problem in the world. But it is a problem, and problem that a lot of people are heavily invested in minimizing or denying altogether.

        • How does racism cause the problems in the black community but racism in the USA hasn’t created all sorts of problems for Asians and Jews

          How much racism can there be in 85 % black Detroit?

          Your failure to mention the advantage that affirmative action gives blacks is telling.

    • Violence and crime, economic issues and housing are Black Americans’ top issues, according to Pew’s latest. More Black Americans have “no issues” than named racism as their top issue. Something to keep in mind while watching MSNBC or reading the NYT…


      More black people listed “no issue” rather than racism as their top issue. Maybe we should actually listen to what Black people say are their most important issues rather than Deacon Greydanus.

    • Deacon Greydanus, I fundamentally agree with what you’re saying here. I suppose my response to much of what I know through experience as true, is that I’m hesitant to apply words like systemic [racism] or as in the USCCB pastoral letter [it’s not a binding pronouncement simply an outlook] “universal complicity” [universals require 100% verification] is creating a good purpose into an ideology that distances itself from on the ground justice for all concerned.

      • Thanks, Father. I’m glad that it now seems that our views largely converge, and that the differences between us may be more semantic than anything.

        As for “universal complicity,” I would just say, again, that I don’t think that the idea that “we are all complicit” is meant to imply moral culpability. As I understand it, it simply means that these systems affect us all, and that we are all responsible for how we acknowledge them (or not) and what we do about them (or not).

  47. The study you referenced regarding the hiring practices is flawed, deacon and I will explain. First let me clarify.
    RACISM EXISTS. However, there are significant caveats that merit discussion. First, many of the studies used to demonstrate the prevalence of contemporary bias are limited in scope. Devah Pager and her team looked only at hiring for non-affirmative-action entry-level jobs in the private sector, primarily with white-owned employers, in Milwaukee near the turn of the past century. While Pager, who died in 2018, was a skilled and ethical scholar, it would be hard for a critic from the right not to notice that this is probably the only sector of the modern job market in which a qualified upper-middle-class minority job applicant might find himself at a hiring disadvantage. It would be fascinating to see this study replicated in the context of public-sector jobs, or desirable experience-based union jobs, or diversity-forward positions. For that matter, fully 36 percent of U.S. businesses today are minority- or woman-owned. What does “racial hiring bias” look like for applicants to that sector?

    Entering trickier ground, we may (discreetly) note that discrimination does not always reflect blind irrational bias. While I would still opt not to work with a business that had such a rule in place, common sense compels us to admit that there might be reasons other than “hatred” for a bar owner’s reluctance to usher a group of 100 male Hispanic soldiers into an entirely black or white night club packed full of drunks. At a more serious level, several scholars have speculated that reaction to stereotypically black names on resumés is as likely to reflect perceived affirmative-action effects or class bias as it is racism—and, indeed, one significant study finds no negative effect for middle-class black names. It is only a bit glib to say that, while “Sharkeshia Freeman” may well face discrimination in the professional job market, “Marcus Freeman” probably will not.

  48. Here’s a tidbit that crossed my desk regarding the Buffalo shooter

    I have not read the shooter’s politcal screeds myself, so can’t judge if the above article is accurate, or simply more media lies and mendacity.
    Unlike some of the commentators here, I do think there is “systemic racism,” but there is not much of it on the conservative/libertarian side. It is primarily on the Left–and black generally tend to vote for those politicians

  49. This is to Deacon Greydanus.

    I would like to respond to a Twitter post you published referencing the debate in this page. Since I don’t do Twitter. You wrote:

    “Among many angry reactions to my homily, at least one commenter explicitly endorsed white supremacy. Many denied that systemic racism exists and/or blamed problems in black communities on Democrats.”

    I haven’t read every comment, so don’t know how many are angry. But if someone explicitly endorses white supremacy then that person is wrong. Almost everyone I know or have ever known would agree.

    As for not believing in systemic racism. Well yeah. That, along with such ideas as white privilege and Critical Race Theory, not to mention the deplorable 1619 Project, are political and ideological narratives based on activism that many disagree with wholeheartedly. Many point out the Everest sized pile of facts, stats and historical data that must be ignored or twisted to make these narratives come close to being plausible.

    As for blaming the Democrats. Again, many question liberal narratives, and that includes the idea that the GOP is a racist party while the Democrats care. Many believe the problems are beyond either party, or involve both parties. Others believe the Democrats never stopped being the party of Jim Crow, of Segregation, of the KKK and of Slavery, they just found slick and clever ways to weaponize new versions of the old bigotry. Whatever one thinks, it is true that some don’t buy the Blue State Good/Red State Bad dichotomy of the media and liberal punditry.

    I just thought I would respond to that Twitter post, since it had an almost Shocked, Shocked! vibe to it (and as a film critic, I’m sure you know that reference).

    • You have to understand the tactics of radical Leftists. They write an inflammatory piece that they know will elicit a response from those who hold strongly-hed opposing views. Then, once the reactions come pouring in, they engage in arguments designed to bait and entrap, hoping that someone in the opposition will, in frustration make an intemperate or inexact remark which they can then pounce on in other forums in order to be able to say, “See, I was right, those people over there truly are red-necked racists…” We know how the game is played.

      • In fairness to Deacon Greydanus, I don’t see him playing those tricks as much as uncritically accepting the Leftwing templates for these issues. Unfortunately, one of the more egregious tactics of the left is to minimize or even ignore human suffering when it doesn’t fit the template. Hence quibbling over ‘well, police are being blown away today like never before – but there was a time when it was getting slightly better’. As if two random points on a graph that sort of says something makes up for the uptick in police murdered in cold blood.

        But that’s one of the great evils of our age that has largely been codified by the Left (thanks in large part to a sympathetic media culture). Downplay the evil and the suffering of humanity if it doesn’t fit the template needed to justify burning to the ground the heritage and values of the Christian Democratic West and American Experiment. It’s just sad to see Deacon Greydanus fall into that approach.

  50. Deacon, what is it called when you deny critically sick patients life saving medicine because of their white skin… you do realize governments enacted this policy? Where was your outcry at that racism?
    Quite frankly, there are millions of poor whites living in conditions you would never accept for yourself or your family. The government, the media, demonize these people on a daily basis. The anti-white rhetoric is so strong and prevalent these days it is not surprising the black supremacist in Waukesha (which you foolishly ignored) posted vile anti-white hatred that is not uncommon from you could begin hear from Joy Reid on MSNBC before he mowed down 60 people.

    Well-to -do influencers such as yourself minimize or ignore plight of poor whites. You should come to see a poor Appalachian town and see the unemployment, the people struggling to find food for their kids,unable to pay their bills, in absolutely some of the poorest counties and conditions in the country. Come and see and then lecture them about how privileged they are. It takes a special amount of pride and arrogance to think the way you do, deacon. I pray for you. You are super intelligent. But you are also extremely prideful. Pride and racism are your great sins. I can on and on about the obstacles the people in poor mountain towns face.

    I work with the poor people in Appalachia. Drugs, meth and fentanyl are not only common, they are literally destroying communities. I have seen so many living in appalling trailors and shacks, literally shacks, nevermind the homeless– with abuse, incest, and household violence, domestic violence being extremely common. I see cps commonly removing children from places so squalid, poverty, again, you would never accept for yourself or your children. Yet you lecture and lecture For you, Deacon, to turn a blind eye to this level of suffering tells me you have a serious empathy problem. Privileged they are not. They are not benefiting in any way from “white supremacy”.
    Yes, these folks here are abandoned. If the smart ones and lucky ones get a chance to go to college they will be disadvantaged in the application process. They may be passed over for a poc even though they may have faced far more obstacles and hardships.

  51. And yes Deacon, I am fully aware of the horrors of Jim Crowe, the government sponsored terrorism and violence that is responsible for blacks being less wealthy and a significant reason many of the obstacles the black community face today endure. You didn’t mention the impact of the welfare state, which is responsible for the 1000 percent growth in out of wedlock childbirths for blacks and is the reason for a huge increase in oow births for whites too. It was only recently that ALL groups had relatively low out of wedlock births. As a side note the environmental factor that caused this was lyndon johnson and the welfare state and the great society (Reilly 20222)

    The problem with your type of advocacy is that it is manipulative and dishonest. You claim that there is no such thing as white guilt, I can tell you for a fact, in business, academia and in popular media and books this concept is very much taught. You say white people are racist and guilty of supremacy, I see people who are just doing their best to take care of their families who are not responsible for the sins of generations past.

    What is happening is that we are replacing Jim Crowe with cultural Marxism that is prevalent in so many countries and is destroying ours, resulting in injustice, discrimination and racism.

    Today, it is not only socially acceptable, it is TRENDY to hate “whiteness” and white people. You have to be particularly biased and partisan, as you are, to deny that reality and not see the dangers of what this will do to any society. Look at the cultural revolutions in China and the former Soviet union. Listen to the people who have escaped from oppressive regimes only to come here and report that the same authoritarianism they fled from is occurring here. The crt and anti racism movement,
    the idea that the only way to atone for past discrimination is for the enactment of current racism, critical race and queer theory, the sexual grooming of children in schools are all concrete manifestations of this cultural revolution.

    People hear you bloviating about white supremacy and they become frustrated. They look around, and they notice their friends are black or poc. They’ve noticed that more more black people are moving into middle class neighborhoods. They strive to treat people the way they want to be treated, with dignity and respect. More than anything they want to be left alone and left in peace to go about their lives. And yet the legacy media and people like you tell them, (for the most part, very good people), that they are racist, bigoted supremacists who vote the wrong way, love their guns and trucks. They are white supremacists who comprise about half of this country. Nevermind the fact most indicators of racism, (poc positive hiring practice and approval of interracial marriages) HAVE DECREASED BY 90 PERCENT since 1964.

    People listen to you and wonder why you rarely talk about an issue that is more grave and serious than current racism. That is not a deflection, it is the intentional killing of a human life. Like when lynching was tolerated in the country and many people didn’t speak out. That would never be tolerated today, nobody would approve of lynching as it is the intentional taking of human life. So it is with abortion, and it is even more a preeminent issue than racism is today and you should start standing up for human life at least as much as you complain about white supremacy. Do both.

    Of course, if we are such a white supremacist country, RIGHT NOW, NOT 60 YEARS AGO, why are 7 of the 8 most successful ethnic groups poc (many of whom themselves faced virulent racism in this country). For a currently white supremacist country I would not expect east Asians and West Africans to be the most successful. Can you explain this phenomenon?

  52. Bravo, Deacon SDG, for once again promoting greater justice and harmony in this world while preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  53. As a non-Catholic, I can only say that the commentary here matches up all too well with White Evangelical Rightists. In fact, I’m hard pressed to see any difference at all. A man writes a thoughtful examination of the situation we’re in… and gets responses that are rabid. I’m not surprised by this. I left Evangelicalism over this. I am a little surprised to find Catholics of the same fundamentalist type as the subculture I left. But that’s okay. Carry on. But what are you all going to do with that darn Pope of yours, eh? He doesn’t sing from your song sheets, thank God.

    • You lost me at’ White Evangelical Rightists’. That type of ‘Be a liberal or be a Nazi, your choice’ is Gehenna and gone from anything close to solving the problems of our society. First clue: if you watch the modern tendency of ever and only using “White” as a pejorative, you can see the goal is less finding a solution and more simply pouring old bigotry and racism into new bottles.

  54. Steve,

    “They are disproportionately policed, for example, resulting in Blacks being 3 to 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use despite roughly equal usage by Whites. ”

    Those studies are based on self reports of marijuana use. When blacks and whites are tested at hospitals, a substantial gap in marijuana use is found.

    “Even after he gets out of prison, his chances of getting a job are worse than a similarly qualified White man with a similar conviction. ”

    I’m dubious of this claim. In any event, you are ignoring affirmative action which gives blacks a substantial benefit in obtaining employment.

    There is a You Tuber Sean Last who has numerous data driven videos that discuss the kind of claims you are making.

  55. I agree that we should look in our hearts and ask God for the gift to truly see our sins and repent of them.

    However, yourour homily comes across as biased and politically one-sided, at least in my opinion. That’s not the gospel. How?

    1. The Waukesha killer who killed 6 and injured many others wrote about how he wanted to kill white people. He was a virulent racist who expressed his hatred of whites all over the internet. You did not mention him at all, or speak about his hatred which echoes the current trend of hating whiteness, which is becoming more and more mainstream and fashionable.
    2. Frank James the NY subway killer left a long trail of anti white hatred for at least a year on his accounts. You curiously failed to mention him.
    3. A black supremacist killed a cop at the capital just recently. No mention. Same glaring omission.

    Whatever your homily’s intent was, it showed partisan bias as it failed to even address these murders all of whom spoke openly of their hatred and desire to kill white people. Given today’s climate where it is becoming more and more acceptable to show open racist attitudes towards white people, ignoring these mass murders motivated by hate is not teaching the gospel or Christian.

    These are but three examples which, in addition to the examples you provided should have been addressed.

          • Goalpost shifting now, Joe? “A didn’t mention B which seems to be C” is not synonymous with “A didn’t mention B being C,” on two different counts. Do you need me to diagram it for you?

            Extra credit: Show your work.

          • “a new analysis shows the majority of attackers are white.”

            Blacks commit crime (including hate crimes) per capita at a higher rate than any other group, so it follows that anti asian hate crimes will be per capita a black problem

          • Got it, once again moving the goalposts from “largely committed by people of color/the largely black nature of anti Asian hate crimes” to “ it follows that anti asian hate crimes will be per capita a black problem,” which is a) a clearly different claim b) for which you have no evidence, thanks for confirming

  56. You have to feel for the author, trying to argue against a bunch of people who spend all day commenting about how much they hate Marxists (the 21st century codeword for Jews) and how much they hate black people on this Catholic news site.

    In fact one might think, based on the comments above, that the only thing that motivates traditional catholics at this point is hate. One of the many reasons I became disillusioned with “trad” Catholicism. It’s just another grocery-store brand white reactionary politics. BUT LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT BLACK FATHERLESS RATES AND BLACK ON BLACK CRIME, WHY DOESN’T ANYONE SAY ANYTHING? WHAT ABOUT BLACK MURDERERS, WHY DON’T YOU CONDEMN THEM TOO! WHY DON’T YOU TALK ABOUT THE JEWS WHO DID KILL JESUS, BIAS MUCH? WHY DOES NO ONE COME TO CHURCH ANY MORE??

    • Your entire comment boils down to ‘these people could have been liberals, but they made the only other choice of being Nazis instead.’ The old leftist idea that one’s relationship to Jesus is bupkis, but only by liberalism are we saved, works in some places today (obviously), but not among faithful believers in the Gospel. And that’s mostly who I see commenting here – on both sides of the issue.

  57. It’s interesting that when a subject like racism is brought up the gloves are off, and “Who am I to judge?” gets kicked to the curb. The people pushing systemic racism suddenly become the infallible readers of the hearts and minds of others, and pitiless judgment is mandatory. The Salem witchcraft trials could hardly do better. Race charges becomes the new “When did you quit beating your wife?” question.
    Identity politics makes it possible for self-anointed gatekeepers to engage in what amounts to extortion/blackmail shakedown operations. A protection racket where companies and other organizations buy peace by caving into the demands of the woke identity gatekeepers. We all know how ruthless the cancel culture is. In short, a Grievance-Industrial Complex.
    One other person who is doing interesting work in this area is Christopher Rufo.

  58. So it’s been a week since Deacon Greydanus posted this. Whether he’s still visiting the comments or not, I don’t know. But a final reflection.

    First, he said some of the comments were angry. I’ve not read all, but some obviously are – among those who both agree and disagree with the deacon’s words. So anger must be a common bond.

    But more to the point, it’s obvious Deacon Greydanus accepts at face value the left-liberal template for understanding our history. A template that has been developed for the last several decades, but has become mainstream – with such ideas as white privilege, systemic racism, the 1619 Project, and similar narratives his above positions rest upon – only after we reelected (not merely elected) our first black president. Honest political scientists can probably guess why.

    In other words, the leftwing-liberal narrative or template is not necessarily true, but a way of spinning the facts. So Deacon Greydanus wrote this:

    “Racism as we know it in Western culture today (racism in other cultural contexts, especially Asian racism, have different histories that I would have to study more to speak about with any confidence) is generally considered by sociologists and historians to be a modern phenomenon historically connected with European expansionism and global trade”

    That’s not true. It is not ‘generally considered’ at all, but considered only by leftwing and liberal, progressive and anti-Western sociologists and historians. True, you could argue that those who reject this are conservative or rightwing or pro-American, and you’d be right. But that group has a couple things on its side that Deacon Greydanus has apparently missed.

    First, even a brief survey of world history will find plenty of examples of racism, racist based slavery, imperialism, colonialism and all of the other evils the Left associates exclusively with the West. Is the West’s form unique to itself? Sure, so is every other culture’s form unique to that culture. The Left’s brilliance has been to suggest it’s somehow worse when the West does what other cultures do than it is when any other culture does the same. There’s no reason in God’s green earth to say, for instance, Asian racism would be in any way less horrible or evil than the West’s. That’s purely leftwing fiction.

    The second comes from being with people from other cultures who have experienced such evils, or whose ancestors have. As a Protestant minister I worked with international missions, and in my post-Protestant journey I sojourned with Eastern Orthodox Christians for about a half dozen years. I met people whose ancestors could give first hand accounts of why those leftwing sociologists and historians are dead wrong by suggesting it’s only really bad in the West. For instance, I met people in an Antiochene Orthodox church whose ancestors were enslaved by the Ottomans under the classic Muslim justification of ‘those white Europeans’ (similar to the Muslim ‘those black Africans’). Tell them it’s not the same as the really bad stuff in America and the West and you’ll have a fight on your hands.

    That’s why I give it to the scholars that Deacon Greydanus appears unaware of: they have reality and facts on their side. The same goes for other cases that we could examine. So has why Deacon Greydanus accepted the leftwing narrative so readily? I don’t know. That he has done so is, sadly, beyond dispute. And to do this, he appears to have made himself quite unaware of the mountains of evidence that call into question the narrative he has accepted.

    • Steve claims not to know the motivations behind the black Wisconsin killer and the black NYC subway shooter. Sad, really.

      If Steve edited the NYT, the theme would be “all The Narrative that’s fit to print.”

    • Dave G,

      Here is a historical analysis arguing for the premise that racism is a modern Western idea from that well-known leftist liberal … Dinesh D’Souza.

      For the sake of balance, here is a counter-argument proposing that racism was invented in classical antiquity, from a significantly more liberal source (read more). This source acknowledges, however, that “There appears to be a consensus that racism as such originates in modern times.”

      In short, I am reasonably well informed regarding the state of contemporary academic discussion on this topic — and not just from left/liberal sources. (I first encountered the idea that racism is a modern Western concept over 25 years years ago, from D’Souza’s book The End of Racism.)

      I am actually fairly agnostic about whether forms of intergroup bias in the ancient or medieval worlds should be called “racism.” I don’t have a dog in that fight, which I regard as more semantic than substantial.

      That’s why I explicitly said “Racism as we know it in Western culture today is generally considered by sociologists and historians to be a modern phenomenon historically connected with European expansionism and global trade.” I am speaking specifically of the kind of racism that developed in this historical context.

      Not only that, far from ignoring or denying racism in non-Western cultural contexts, I literally, explicitly wrote that “racism in other cultural contexts, especially Asian racism, have different histories that I would have to study more to speak about with any confidence.” I’m not ignorant of their existence. I don’t deny that they exist. I explicitly acknowledged them, and then prescinded from them for the purposes of my earlier comment.

      In short, I don’t think you have read me nearly as carefully as you seem to think you have.

      • I’ve read that neurologists and radiologists can tell the race of a person by looking at an MRI of someone’s brain.

          • Actually radiologists can tell a persons self identified race from an MRI. In fact the genes for brain development have been found and the vary from race to race even more than the genes for skin color.

      • What is racism? Is it believing that races exist? Is it believing some groups are smarter than others but that the cause is cultural? Or is it believing that some gaps (sprinting, marathons, height, IQ, etc) have a genetic component? Most IQ researchers believe the high IQ of Ashkenazi Jews has a genetic component.

        • Steve, do you support affirmative action? Do you believe blacks and Hispanics should get automatic bump over Asians in the Yale case?

        • Michael,

          First you say “I’ve read that neurologists and radiologists can tell the race of a person by looking at an MRI of someone’s brain.” Then you claim, as a fact, “Actually radiologists can tell a persons self identified race from an MRI.”

          Where exactly did you “read” this, and how did you suddenly come to know it as a fact? Did you choose to believe it was a fact because it supports your belief that some races are superior to others?

          I defined racism earlier in the comments. Search this page for the words “All forms of racism”. I have no particular opinion about affirmative action.

          • No opinion on affirmative action? Giving someone preferential treatment based on race isn’t racism?

          • No, Michael, giving someone preferential treatment based on race is not automatically racism. Racism, at least in the modern Western experience, is inseparable from the history and culture of White supremacy and its historical and cultural effects. Attempts to compensate for the effects of White supremacy may or may not be prudentially advisable or effective; we can discuss and debate that. But they are not “racist” in the modern Western sense.

      • Deacon Greydanus, thanks for your response. A few points:

        I didn’t say racism in the West wasn’t unique. I said the racism of the West was unique to the West – largely because of its obsession with science as the all explaining approach to everything, FWIW. Likewise, the “West’s” approach to racism changed and developed over the centuries. But certainly that is no different than the uniqueness of Japan’s racism in the 20th Century. Or consider Ottoman racism as unique, and yet different from general Arabic-Islamic racism of the 14th Century. Or how Native American racism toward other Native American peoples differed from time and place. You get the point.

        As for reading you clearly, from what I can tell, you appear to want to accept the conclusions of the Left – hence this homily – but you don’t want to accept the premises. Or at least you’re not ready to. Which is promising. You appear to see the flaws in the progressive template, a template that has been trying for decades to frame the Christian West, not as a net boon for the world, but as the primary source of evil and suffering in the world. Still, you run with the conclusions as if you accept those same premises.

        FWIW, I don’t think Mr. D’Souza’s book is arguing the leftwing narrative of the West or America as uniquely evil and guilty of its singular racist identity. I haven’t read it, though I remember controversy surrounding it. My guess, based upon other his works and our conversations together, is that he was trying to debunk the development in western liberal thinking that frames racism as the all-defining, all-encompassing unforgivable sin of America and the West; a trait inherent in us all, but only evil and unforgivable when manifest in white Western and American forms.

        That’s the point here. Nobody says the West isn’t unique, just as any culture or civilization is unique, sins and virtues. They’re arguing against the Left’s template that the West is alone uniquely evil, that Caucasians alone are uniquely racist, and therefore all that came from west of the Urals is questionable at best, or in need of outright elimination at worst (see the example of D.E.I. vs. equality).

        As for not having a dog in the fight, I can’t account for why, since your conclusions seem to hang on whether or not these leftwing narratives are correct or not. After all, it’s these narratives that have allowed us to villainize such figures as Christopher Columbus or Thomas Jefferson or Robert E. Lee because of racism, or conquest, or slavery, while turning around and celebrating ‘Indigenous Peoples’, who as a people practiced all of the same as those reviled individuals – and more. Ask yourself how this is fine, and you might begin seeing the problems with those narratives upon which you appear to base your conclusions.

        • Dave G.: You can read the D’Souza article for yourself with a free registration at JSTOR. D’Souza’s argument is that racism (as he defines that world in historical terms) is a modern, Western idea — an argument I think is correct, without ruling out other definitions that apply in other cultural contexts both non-modern and non-Western. You are right, on the other hand, in saying that D’Souza doesn’t argue that “the West or America as uniquely evil and guilty,” an entirely unrelated thesis that I reject just as D’Souza would (though I would not necessarily agree with everything else D’Souza has to say on this subject).

          As far as I can tell, your apparent confusion of these two very different ideas leads to you think that I “appear to want to accept the conclusions of the Left, [but] don’t want to accept the premises.” I confess I’m unclear what “conclusions” you think I “want to accept” or what “premises” you think I don’t, but I am not at all convinced that I would recognize as my own the ideas you think I “want to accept.” You will have to be more specific.

          I don’t think I’ve said much at all in my homily that is not well-grounded in Catholic teaching, in statements from popes, in USCCB pastoral letters and statements of individual bishops over the last 50 years, and in well-designed public opinion polls.

          You are free, of course, to disagree with non-authoritative papal and episcopal statements, and with even the USCCB pastoral letters; you can even claim that the polls are wrong (though what warrant you might claim for any of this, I wouldn’t know). But I’m certainly not out on a limb espousing my own opinions here.

          • “You are free, of course, to disagree with non-authoritative papal and episcopal statements, and with even the USCCB pastoral letters; you can even claim that the polls are wrong (though what warrant you might claim for any of this, . . . ”

            Yes, these are not authoritative and I’d argue that the data says these statements are often based on assumptions that are wrong. To take a related example, I believe JP2 and Francis have said terrorism is caused by poverty. But studies have shown that terrorists in the Muslim world tend to be fairly well off (think of bin Laden). Even people who are recruited as suicide bombers with the promise of taking care of their families tend to be better off than average.

            Pope Francis has also said that the is nothing in Islam or the Koran that teaches violence, which is obviously false.

          • Here is Open Wide Our Hearts: “We read the headlines that report the killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officials. In our prisons, the number of inmates of color, notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate.”

            No mention that some ethnic groups commit crime at higher rates than others.

          • Deacon Greydanus, thanks again for the response.

            Well, we just can’t stop agreeing can we? Apparently we are all in agreement – you, D’Souza, me. Of course racism in America or the greater West today is unique. It is unique from the racism in America or the greater West centuries ago. Just like anything in any nation or society is unique to that time and place. Just as slavery or racism or race based slavery in other cultures or societies was distinct based on time and place, so was the West’s. We seem to agree.

            So what is the issue? Again, the conclusions. In your Twitter post about this comments section, you acted shocked that some would doubt Systemic Racism. Of course we do. Because we reject – as you say you do – the political Left’s underlying narrative. The Left doesn’t say racism in America is unique. It says America and the greater West are defined by this singularly evil form of racism (and other evils), as opposed to any other culture or society. Hence European colonials evil, Indigenous Peoples (who did the same darn things and more) beautiful.

            In fact, I don’t see how anyone can logically reject the narratives of the Left regarding the West then turn and accept such theories as white privilege, or systemic racism. White privilege is a grand example. Take a basic common sense reality – that people who make up a majority in a society will, in most (not all, but most) cases, have the upper hand – and insist it is irredeemably evil only in the case of white America, but no big deal elsewhere. You don’t get that type of logic without first accepting the anti-Western narratives of the Left. And that’s what they are – designed to dismantle the values and principles of the Western tradition (see D.E.I. and the unacceptable flaws of equality for an excellent example). That’s where I think everyone is running into walls here with your article and subsequent comments.

          • I thought I remembered you being a Calvinist or something, Joe.

            Your statements here, as usual (e.g., “largely black nature of anti Asian hate crimes”), are riddled with falsehoods and half truths, but at some point I have to stop refuting you, or we’ll be here till kingdom come. And I have things to do.

          • Dave G,

            I can’t escape the disconcerting sense that you’re really well prepped for a conversation with someone other than me, and to that end you just keep making stuff up about what I think and how I feel. When have I ever “acted shocked that some would doubt Systemic Racism”? If I thought I could take for granted that Catholics understand and recognize systemic racism, I wouldn’t have bothered citing the Catechism and “Open Wide Our Hearts” (or, before that, in my 2017 homily after Charlottesville/Unite the Right, the 1979 pastoral letter “Brothers and Sisters to Us”) to support my statements.

            Obviously I take for granted that plenty of Catholics, especially White Catholics, haven’t absorbed the message of these pastoral letters, which is why it must be proclaimed. (As my friend Damon Clarke Owens put it in our 2020 discussion for the National Catholic Register, “You want action? All right, we’re going to write an encyclical or a letter — and nobody reads it. We’re going to do a commission — and by the time that commission writes their third-year report, nobody gives a rip.”) So how could I be “shocked”?

            You don’t say whether you think I’ve misrepresented the teaching of USCCB letters like “Open Wide Our Hearts” and “Brothers and Sisters to Us,” or whether you think the letters themselves are shaped by the same alleged wish to accept the “conclusions” of the left that you purport to diagnose in me. It’s not even clear what you think “systemic racism” means, or what you think I think it means. For example, would you agree that in 1850 something existed that could reasonably be called systemic racism? How about 1950? If so, when exactly did it come to an end, in your view?

            I find it fascinating that you take for granted that social privilege comes with mere majority—as if, non-Hispanic Whites being about 58% of the population, you would expect them to make up 77% of Congress (and 84% of Republicans in Congress) and over 90% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Or as if the fact that generations of Black Americans have disproportionately been consigned to concentrated urban poverty, while the generational wealth of middle-class suburbs is disproportionately in the hands of White Americans, were just the luck of the draw, and not a reality engineered by explicitly discriminatory policies in government agencies and lending organizations from the 1930s to the mid-1960s.

            Tell me, does your view that majority status automatically confers social perks align you with Robert, who elsewhere in this combox explicitly endorses White majoritarianism and White supremacy as policy goals?

          • Deacon Greydanus,

            Thanks again for your response. This is a response to your last response. There is no reply option for that, so here it is.

            First, I can’t account for Robert or his views. I haven’t read every comment on this thread. If you have questions for Robert, take them to him.

            Second, there is reading Church documents and then there is studying them. At best I have time to read some. But I am in no way versed enough to gauge if you are or aren’t misrepresenting them, so I wouldn’t presume to say.

            Finally, I think you’re missing my point. Perhaps the fault is my inadequacy as a writer. So let me try again. Academic jargon like systemic racism, or even white privilege, is fine as far as it goes. They are click-bait terms and concepts that describe a part of reality found around the world since the deeps of time, including in America.

            Nobody denies that racism existed in America, does exist, or will in the future. Heck, we’re developing new racism every day. Nowadays you can look at a ten year old girl and say she’s privileged based purely on her skin color, irrespective of her condition in life. That’s fully endorsed today, and yes it’s racism.

            But the difference is in how these observations are framed. In its simplest form, the Left would have us believe the whole of the Christian West and America was a net bane for the world, as opposed to the traditional view that the whole of the Christian West and America was a net boon for the world. How one reads the stats and the history depends on which of those frameworks is accepted – since they look at the same basic facts.

            Since it is framed as a bane, the left is moving to dismantle and eliminate a growing pile of principles and values that are, or are at least accused of being, rooted in this white Western racist colonialism. Equality, freedom of speech, religious liberty, presumption of innocence, burden of proof, forgiveness and reconciliation, humility, and so forth are on the chopping block due to association with this singular blight upon the world that is the West.

            This is aided by carefully funneled media narratives, such as ‘when mass shooter is white and victims minority, it’s about racism and racist America; if a non-white mass shooter it’s about guns, or drop ASAP’ – the Jazmine Barnes principle. That, BTW, is one of the great evils of our age – being taught to care about human suffering based upon its convenience for a particular narrative.

            But that’s what this is about. Since you seem to follow the left’s (and media) narratives in how these things are framed, taking your cues from the dominant media headlines, it seems fair to assume you agree with them. If you don’t, then you had best call them out pronto. If you suggest the Church also follows these particular anti-Western narratives, then I can only hope you are misrepresenting the documents in question.

          • Dave G,

            You started out claiming that my comment that “Racism as we know it in Western culture today…is generally considered by sociologists and historians to be a modern phenomenon historically connected with European expansionism and global trade” applies only to “leftwing and liberal, progressive and anti-Western sociologists and historians.” You claimed that I “missed” and was “quite unaware of the mountains of evidence” for racism in non-Western contexts.

            Literally none of that was true, and some of it was obviously untrue if you had read what I said. I showed you that the thesis that racism is a modern Western development is held by conservative scholars such as D’Souza—but I also pointed out what you had apparently missed in my comment, that I acknowledged the consensus without definitively accepting it, and explicitly acknowledged the reality of racism in non-Western contexts, which I obviously had not missed, and you should have known I hadn’t missed if you had read me carefully.

            Your response to this, oddly, was to express doubt that Mr. D’Souza was not arguing “the leftwing narrative of the West or America as uniquely evil and guilty of its singular racist identity” — something of a non sequitur, since nothing anyone had said suggested that racism was the single greatest evil in history, or that other nations and times could not be guilty of different evils comparable to or worse than Western racism.

            Your most persistent claim, repeated in some form or other in all your comments to date, is that it’s “obvious that Deacon Greydanus accepts at face value the left-liberal template for understanding our history.” (To your credit, you moderated this overconfident language in subsequent rephrasings: You say I “appear to want to accept the conclusions of the Left,” but not “the premises”; that my “conclusions seem to hang on whether or not these leftwing narratives are correct or not”; that I “seem to follow the left’s (and media) narratives in how these things are framed, taking your cues from the dominant media headlines.”) Yet you have never pointed to a single specific sentence from my homily that you feel demonstrates reliance on “the narratives of the left” or departure from the pastoral documents I’ve cited. In short, you have merely asserted without evidence or argument. Saying something over and over doesn’t make it true.

            I’m baffled by your latest statement that “Academic jargon like systemic racism, or even white privilege, is fine as far as it goes. They are click-bait terms and concepts that describe a part of reality found around the world since the deeps of time, including in America.”

            How is this compatible with your earlier claim that you “don’t see how anyone can logically reject the narratives of the Left regarding the West” (narratives that you clearly reject, at least as you understand them) “and then turn and accept such theories as white privilege, or systemic racism”? Which is it? Are systemic racism and white privilege theories that must be rejected by anyone who rejects “the narratives of the left”? Or are they “fine as far as they go” (if “click-baity”) in “describing a part of reality”?

          • Deacon Greydanus, I was about to write the next chapter in our book, when I saw a CNN interview that I think cuts right to the problem. It was an interview with Andy Stanley. He’s from my old Evangelical stomping grounds.

            In the interview, he said what I’ve heard a million times in recent years. He lamented the intrusion of politics into the faith. But then he went on to say he supports Black Lives Matter (even if he expresses some concern about the organization proper). Look, my dude Stanley, BLM is a politically charged term based upon political activism, narratives and ideologies. You can’t say woe to the politics and then embrace politics from across the aisle.

            And that’s the point here. It is not a contradiction to accept the common sense reality that a majority in most societies will have the privilege, by custom and often by law, while rejecting the political Left’s racially charged emphasis filtered through skin color in order to make it a sin exclusive to America.

            The same with racism in America. It’s no problem to say that racism in America now differs from racism in America in the past, or in Europe now, or anywhere else now or in the past. One doesn’t have to deny that in order to reject the Left’s attempts to frame racism as a uniquely white European and American phenomenon, irredeemable and furthermore tainting everything from the greater heritage of Western Civilization (again, see the DEI I’ve mentioned that you’ve not responded to). That is where D’Souza is. That’s where I am. You seem to claim that position, too. And yet.

            It’s not this or that sentence, but that your homily here (and other writings) appears to echo the Left’s narrative framework, sown by educators, pruned by the media, and fertilized by a healthy dose of pop culture. It’s that you made Buffalo all about racism in America because of the shooter’s ethnicity, just as the press did. Did you do the same regarding other ethnic groups in other shootings based on the identity of other shooters? Or did you follow the press in those cases and defer instead to ‘gun violence’? When a black man murdered five police officers in Dallas after promising to murder whites, did you pen a homily decrying the rise of anti-white racist sentiments becoming more open in the black community and clearly on display in Dallas? Or did you echo the press’s emphasis on the burden placed on blacks growing up in a racist nation? Or did you … mention it at all, beyond thoughts and prayers and a quick lament over violence?

            Those are the questions behind much of the commenting here. If you happen to continually echo the press’s narratives, which are key for advancing this leftwing agenda you claim to disavow, then some specific clarification is needed. You can’t just embrace Stanley’s assumption that to the right is all of the rascally politics, but to the left of center happens to be Jesus, therefore you’re not being political.

          • Dave G,

            I could point out, yet again (and, by noting this, I have) that you have, yet again, asserted without argument or citation of a single sentence of my homily that I “appear to echo the Left’s narrative framework,” but it’s now fairly clear that what you prefer to believe and assert is invincible to any challenge or correction from me. Facts are irrelevant. You have your narrative, and that’s what matters to you.

            I see no point in prolonging conversation with a person who, after repeated corrections of repeated misrepresentations and misconstruals of the other person, shows no ability for or interest in acknowledging their error and misstatements, let alone correcting course and engage what the other person is actually saying.

            I trust readers of our dialogue to draw their own conclusions. Grace and peace.

          • Deacon Greydanus, so no, you won’t respond to my direct questions. I said it wasn’t a matter of this or that sentence you wrote, but your overall body of work that reflects – or doesn’t reflect if you could demonstrate how – the dominant media narratives. A media that, let’s be honest, is basically a propaganda organ for the secular left. That the press puts human suffering on a chart to see how best to exploit it to advance the overall leftwing agendas in our nation is clear to see (again, Jazmine Barnes). Denying that is right up there with flat earth theorizing. If you don’t subscribe to the leftwing dogmas promoted by this manipulation of human tragedy, then why does how you respond to such tragedies appear to reflect the media template? Why make Buffalo about race but not Dallas, as the media did? Heck, have you called out the press for only mentioning the Nigerian Pentecost massacre when the same outlets spent weeks around the clock with headline laments over the New Zealand mosque shootings? We all know why this is of course.

            That’s the point here. You could have shown the difference between your take and the media’s narratives by linking to your response to the Dallas massacre. The media, which dropped that horrible mass killing as quickly as it could, made it about America as a racist nation. The implication was that a black man with race hate against whites had little choice but mass murder because of the racism inherent in our nation’s identity. The same is the basis for what you see in such liberal programs as DEI training – which again I mentioned and which again you avoided like the plague. That is what I was asking. Show an example of you bucking the media narratives to show you don’t endorse them. That you didn’t give a clear example to correct me, unfortunately, speaks volumes. Pax

          • Dave G: I have repeatedly documented and refuted several obviously erroneous statements you have made. You have yet to acknowledge any error or even acknowledge my rebuttals, yet you persist in repeating accusations without evidence or argument, and trying to goad me into accepting the role of defendant before your inquisition of one.

            I maintain that there is nothing of substance in my homily that is not well-grounded in Catholic teaching, in statements from popes, in USCCB pastoral letters and statements of individual bishops over the last 50 years, and in credible factual sources. Anyone who wants to try to show otherwise is welcome to do so, but mere allegations made without evidence or argument impose on me no obligation to refute them—particularly when made by someone who shows no interest in taking responsibility for his own false statements.

          • Deacon Greydanus,

            I hate to say it this way, but now you’re merely evading. You say you’ve documented and refuted multiple statement I made. In fact, I have asked you to speak directly to a few points that could clarify things rather easily. Rather than quibble over racially charged academic buzzwords or this or that conservative speaker (since not all conservatives think alike anyway), I’ve asked you to point me to the cases where you have broken with the media narrative.

            That seems to be the gist of what many of the commenters – and I – are noticing. The media makes Buffalo about racism because of the races involved. The media makes Uvalde about guns because of the races are involved. The media spent this last March marking the third anniversary of the New Zealand mosque shootings. Within three days last week the same media all but dropped the Nigerian Pentecost massacre – for those outlets that bothered mentioning it at all.

            Which brings us to your take on these issues. You say you reject the political Left and its desire to disassemble and throw down the values, heritage and principles of the greater Western Christian tradition and America (DEI, which I’ve mentioned but you’ve not responded to, being a grand example of this). Fine. Then show us where you call it out. Show us where you break with the media and point to the universal evil of racism across all ethnic groups (Dallas shooting), or that white Westerners and their Western values are not the only source of evil in the world (Nigeria vs. New Zealand), or that the main threat to blacks isn’t white conservatives or police with guns (Jazmine Barnes), or something. Let’s see where you have stood with an accusatory finger against the press and these artificially constructed narratives achieved through select disregard for human misery and suffering. Point us in the right direction, drop a link or two, and that could all but put an end to most of the concerns I see here.

        • DGD responds (June 3, 7:27 a.m.) to Joe James as a “Calvinist of something.” Leaving no stone unturned in this record-breaking thread of comments (249 so far!), the systemic racism thing must not exclude Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin)–or rather her father the Presbyterian preacher man, the Rev. Lyman Stowe…

          It seems that three of his anti-Catholic sermons have been linked (historians differ) to the simultaneous burning down of an Ursuline convent. Seems to me that, as a class of persons, today’s writers of historical novels (especially Calvinists!) should be rounded up and invited to pay compensation to the Catholic Church for damages done by any of their ancestors.

          Very systemic, the “Know Nothings” and American Protective Association, and all that. Makes sense to me.

  59. The following arguments are entirely different from one another.

    (1) Racism exists among humans and Americans

    (2) Organized, systemic/legal racism existed in the USA in the past

    (3) Organized systemic/legal racism still exists in USA, outweighing affirmative action, etc.

    Like most people I agree with (1) and (2) while finding (3) to be absurd.—Wilfred Reilly.

    For Deacon to snidely go on twitter and boast about how he found people who don’t believe in “systemic racism” is not indicative of a charitable heart. Some of the best Black thinkers today don’t find the term systemic racism, applied today, particularly useful-see Thomas Sowell, Wilfred Reilly, Glen Loury.

    • Your 1 to 3 is a good way of saying it, though I would amend it. One thing that has happened has been to elevate racism to the spot of almost unforgivable sin. And not only that, but a monolithic sin applicable only to white Europeans and Americans. That is, drop the N-Bomb in an email 20 years ago or take over Germany and exterminate ethnic minorities by the millions, and it’s all the same. And I’m not exaggerating much. I’ve seen religious leaders say that every plantation in the south was a death camp, every cotton field a gas chamber. Which is absurd, but that’s where it’s gotten. The idea is that America, and the broader West, existed only for the purpose of being Nazi. Or as my son in college said, today they have the answer to the age old question. That is, how did the Germans allow it to happen? The answer is simple: because they were white Europeans in the Christian West. That’s why. And that’s what they do because that’s all they ever do or have ever done.

      That’s why I would qualify #2.

      • “One thing that has happened has been to elevate racism to the spot of almost unforgivable sin.”

        Perhaps it has been entrenched as unrepentant sin. We keep talking about abortion, it is claimed for the same reason.

        • I would argue how do we repent of it? Racism is illegal in our nation. If you discriminate based on race, you’re in for it. And yet we’re still guilty, per BLM and other such activism. In fact, that’s a glaring problem with too much focus on ‘corporate’ or ‘national’ sins – we have the guilt and condemnation, but how are we – as a Nation – redeemed? At what point does America cease to be ‘A Racist Nation’ (if we accept the premise)?

          Beyond it all, of course, is the idea that America is defined by this sin, or that racism is a monolith, where there is no degree to which a person is racist, or has racist attitudes. Nazi or off colored joke, it’s all the same. All of these are rather new developments in our attitude toward racism and America’s (and the West’s) history. That is one reason why so many black Americans voted for Democrats before the 60s, even when the Democrats were the main pushers of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

          We just didn’t see racism as THE sin, the all defining sin, the deal breaker and game ender, the sin even Jesus can’t redeem. Nor did we see it as unique to America, or Europe. Or define America or Europe as purely and only racist.

          All of these developments of thought emerged over the last few decades. And they are meant to undermine the values and principles of the West and America. Hence the growing number of Americans who see such concepts as religious liberty, or free speech, or equality as merely white supremacist nationalist sleight of hand.

          • Are you arguing or are you asking? You appended a question mark to your first sentence.

            Catholic teaching on penance and reconciliation is clear: an individual makes a serious examination of conscience, asks God for the gift of contrition and actively seeks it, then confesses the wrong. The confessor assigns a penance, an act of satisfaction–the 12 Step tradition would call it making amends.

            I think the details might depend on where one lives, and how one has benefitted from discrimination against people of color. After that examination, it is certainly possible to conclude one is free of discriminatory attitudes and actions. Here’s an example that might require something from an “innocent” person:

            Suppose a Tulsa resident discovers a great-grandparent murdered a black businessman and burned down his store in 1921. That resident obviously benefitted from that ancestor not going to prison for murder: a white business continued to prosper in a different neighborhood. His children and grandchildren benefitted from lives with good schooling, good health, and opportunities to rise through the middle class into a good life. Do the effects of the sins of theft and murder persist with ripples today? That might be a matter for self-examination. The children of Republicans and independents as well as southern and northern Democrats might do well to learn the history of racism as a start. It’s a better start than a personal profession of innocence. No human being alive is innocent. But it takes a person of faith to confess it.

        • For purpose of brevity, let me say outright that I’ve learned about America and racism since elementary school in the 1970s. One of the great lies is that Americans don’t learn about that. Now if you mean accept the Left’s premise that we can’t tell the difference between the swastika and the Stars and Stripes, I absolutely reject that, as do others. Obviously racism existed in America as it has around the world from the beginning of time. And had it not been for those rascally Southern Democrats, we might have worked to put it behind us faster than we did. But it’s merely a sin not uncommon in the world, as opposed to that which is uncommonly focused on in America today.

          As for corporate guilt leading me into the confessional on the off chance my accident of birth puts me in one condition versus another, again nope. We stopped saying Jews are guilty of the blood of Christ, but not to put a new ethnic group into the ancestral guilt category. We don’t do sour grapes. If corporate sin morphs into corporate guilt, into guilt by birth, then it’s time to pull the ripcord on that concept.

  60. Steve,

    I’ll make a final point.

    You seem to think that the problems that Blacks have – not just poverty but crime and illegitimacy – are largely caused by past persecution. But correlation isn’t causation. You’ve never explain the mechanism by which slavery and Jim Crow causes the problems of blacks today. And blacks in the Midwest and Canada which best I can tell which never had these things have the same problems as blacks in the South. No group has been more persecuted than the Jews and their success is often attributed to persecution.

    Also, blacks report high rates of self esteem. And, like whites, most blacks consider themselves above average in intelligence. There’s no reason to think Blacks have internalized oppression.

    • You’ve never explain the mechanism by which slavery and Jim Crow causes the problems of blacks today.

      Yes, I have, or rather, I’ve explained some of several mechanisms by which this has happened. There is much more I could have said, but please see the commentary in the comments above beginning with the words “As Open Wide Our Hearts says”.

      • But you’ve never explained the mechanism by which these things produce problems far greater than anticipated. There is a small correlation between poverty and crime, but adjusted for that the black crime is much higher than you’d expect. Poor whites have lower crime rates than wealthy blacks. Wealthy Blacks have children with lower academic achievement than one would expect (the “Shaker Heights phenomenon).

        And to the extent that Blacks are at certain disadvantages, you’ve never factored in the benefit they get from affirmative action.

      • Steve,

        I’d add that the contention that the problem that Black Americans have is primarily cultural is widely held (best I can tell) by left wing academics. The leading advocate of the claim that B/W gaps are entirely cultural was the late James Flynn of the Flynn Effect fame. He was a socialist who died last year. His first book on the topic came out in 1980.

        Flynn pointed out that for the problem to be caused by racism, it has to act by a mechanism such as poverty and bad schools. But these problems are present in large parts of the white population. At the end of the day he thought the most likely explanation was bad parenting.

        Maybe Flynn was right, maybe he was wrong. But the implication that Whites who think black culture and not systemic racism is to blame are subconscious racists is unfair. If you are interested in Flynn’s take on things you can listen to his American Enterprise Institute debate with Charles Murray from 2007 on YT.

        • Michael Davids:

          There is a small correlation between poverty and crime, but adjusted for that the black crime is much higher than you’d expect.

          “Poverty” is a highly variable phenomenon. Rural poverty is one kind of social disadvantage; concentrated urban poverty is something very different. Many factors, not just wealth, go into what can be called environmental or neighborhood toxicity. A number of analysts have found that crime rates among Whites living in concentrated urban poverty are comparable to crime rates among Blacks in the same conditions: a finding called racial invariance.

          Poor whites have lower crime rates than wealthy blacks.

          Yeah, in view of the findings posted above, I’m gonna need to see some data backing up this claim.

          the “Shaker Heights phenomenon

          To the best of my knowledge, the so-called “the Shaker Heights phenomenon” concerns education; I am not aware that it applies to crime rates, nor that it support your claims.

          the contention that the problem that Black Americans have is primarily cultural is widely held (best I can tell) by left wing academics.

          I agree that cultural problems in Black communities need to be addressed. I also think it’s unhelpful to scold Black men for being less likely to be present in the home at the same time that a host of social factors weigh against them, from differences in how Black communities and Black individuals are policed and how Black defendants and convicts are treated by the criminal justice system compared to Whites to racial bias on the part of employers, including employers with “progressive” hiring policies, who in practice nevertheless would rather hire a White man with a criminal record than a similarly qualified Black man without one.

  61. Steve,

    Do you at least concede that their have been murders by blacks against whites in recent years that are motivated by hatred of whites? You have no problem asserting that many whites are closet racists but when Blacks kill white and say it’s because of race you can’t discern the motive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.